CPD initiative shows major decline in auto-related crimes

CPD says it has seen a 19% decline in auto-related crimes due to task force for the year

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Police Department had a busy last 24 hours.

One person was carjacked in the 1700 block of Kelly Street, and a woman had her car stolen this afternoon in the 2100 block of Stuart Street.

But CPD is fighting back.

A focused initiative has seen a major decline in auto-related crimes.

The reports are all in the public eye: several residents in Chattanooga have told police they’ve had either property stolen out of their cars, or the cars altogether.

This summer, CPD put together a task force to help curb that from happening, and they’ve achieved positive results.

The old saying is “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”

That’s what happens during the summer. Some people don’t have a lot to do, so they turn to crimes of convenience.

Much of that is stealing cars or what’s in them, and it’s something CPD, and lead investigator for the Auto Crimes Unit, Nick Hayes, is working to curb.

“We launched our auto crimes initiative, and within that 28-day period, from July to August, we did achieve a 60% decrease over that month. And, year-to-date, because of a large part of that initiative, we have seen a 19% decrease, year-to-date, with our auto crimes.”

From August to the beginning of September, CPD had another banner month.

But, the police department has said four Hyundai cars were stolen last month. It’s still nothing like the epidemic other cities have.

Hayes: “We have not seen anything near what Atlanta and Milwaukee and the other cities have seen with The Kia Boyz. Obviously, any vehicle is subject to being stolen. We do ask that the community takes action. If they see something, give us a call. Report it. ‘Lock it, hide it, hold it,’ like we’ve been saying over and over and over.”

That mantra also deals with loose property in cars. Technology is making it very easy for thieves to make you a victim.

Hayes says, “Even with technology, and being able to take a cellphone camera, and put it up to the window, it’s like the tint’s not even there, and you can see right into the vehicle. So, we really, really, really have to be vigilant and mindful of taking our laptops, and our cellphones, and our guns, and our … whatever you’re going to leave in that vehicle, hide it.”

Anyone with information on these or any other crimes is asked to call the Chattanooga Police Department.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can use the Atlas One mobile app.

It doesn’t require a name or any personal information to submit tips.

Categories: Chattanooga, Crime, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News