MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department shows 6,889 cars have been stolen in 2023 as of June 8, about two and a half times the number of stolen cars this time last year.
The frequent problem leaves residents with the decision of whether to leave their car locked or unlocked at night. Residents said thieves are going to break in regardless, so they’d rather not deal with shattered glass. Unfortunately, that took a turn for the worst for Dyreial Collins.
“I just keep my door unlocked because I’ve had my window busted before in this same apartment complex just a different building,” Collins said. “I was just like at this point I’m going to stop locking my doors I’m going to just leave the door unlocked and what they take is what they take.”
But this time they stole her entire car - clothes, credit cards and a car seat included – and possibly all on-camera.
“It’s a camera right there,” Collins said. “I feel like this [camera] would’ve at least caught my car - or caught the people maybe like running over here to grab my car but yeah nothing," Collins said, referring to the cameras at her apartment complex.
ABC24 reached out to the leasing office and is awaiting any potential video.
In the meantime, Collins filed a police report and is waiting on MPD to help track down her car stolen from right in front of her apartment.
“I just looked out and was like wait a minute where my car?” I went in the house, I grabbed my key and I began to click the button to see if I could hear the noise but then I realized it was not out here.”
“I took a look at my phone and I realized I had a lot of bank message asking was the purchasing being made me? And then I was like ‘okay my car must’ve been stolen’.”
While it’s the first time her car has been stolen, the issue isn’t new to Memphis.
“I have a friend who I used to work with, they stole her Nissan Maxima probably about four months ago. They tried to steal my sister’s car. My sister has a Kia but they ended up being caught before they were actually able to pull off in it.”
But that wasn’t the case for Collins, now she’ll be without a car unless MPD is able to track it down. She said she wished the police department was more proactive so she and other Memphians wouldn’t be dealing with this in the first place.
“Honestly, Memphis Police Department – they out here worried about everything else but the stuff that y’all should be worried about, y’all are not worried about,” Collins said. “People’s cars are being stolen on the daily you know?”
As car break ins and thefts continue to rise, MPD encourages all residents to lock your cars, don’t leave your car while it’s running and, if possible, install a tracking device in your vehicle.