MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police Department gave away free steering wheel locks to Memphians at two police stations Tuesday, May 23.
With car theft steadily rising, MPD said it wants to help Memphians protect their property.
The free locks were handed out at two MPD precincts: Mt. Moriah station at 2602 Mt. Moriah Rd. and Austin Peay station at 3430 Austin Peay Hwy.
Proof of Memphis residency was required, and the locks were given out on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Only one steering wheel lock was given out per vehicle.
Two of the most stolen brands of cars in the U.S., and in Memphis, and Kia's and Hyundai's.
MPD told ABC24 1,097 Hyundais and 1,091 Kias were stolen between Jan. 1 to May 10, 2023.
MPD said year-to-date for last year and this year, a total of 6,092 vehicles have been stolen in 2023, compared to 2,359 in 2022.
Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis said while some may be skeptical, the locks work.
"Thieves want to quickly steal a vehicle and be on their way. So these are effective. We have talked to individuals who there were attempts on their vehicles, they had a wheel lock, and they have their vehicle," said Davis.
About 500 locks were given away at the Mt. Moriah precinct, and MPD is now working to get more.