The Raleigh Police Department (RPD) confirms they've investigated 194 stolen cars this year.
And, according to ABC11's Neighborhood Safety Tracker, vehicle thefts are up 31% over the last 12 months, compared to three years ago.
Yvette Cannas who lives in Raleigh is on alert.
"It's disturbing," she said.
Cannas lives in the Northwest Police District where 43 cars were stolen this year. Last year around the same time the number was 12. Cannas said her social media feed
is filled with people desperately looking for their car after it's been stolen.
"One was like a Range Rover I saw on the app. And I'm thinking that's got to be a really difficult car to steal because you think of the security and it's so advanced. I'm grateful that I have a car that is not, you know, brand new or really expensive. So then I don't think I would be a target," said Cannas.
Police said people are becoming a victim of car theft because some drivers are leaving cars running and unattended. It's a behavior that's familiar to many people, especially on a cold winter morning. "I didn't lock my car a few years ago, I got rifled through and like little things were taken. So I'm a lot more diligent now."
And so is Margaret Haynes after making it a habit to warm her car up before getting in the vehicle. "I'm not trying to freeze when I'm going places, but I thought it was bad enough that people were breaking in and taking, you know, bags or, you know, like headphones. I've got my AirPods with me. You know, I had no idea. So I definitely won't do that now," Haynes shared.
Raleigh Police said the stolen cars are being used to commit other crimes like robberies and shootings. Police are asking drivers to change their behavior and not make themselves easy targets. Don't leave your car running and go back inside your home even if the car is parked in your driveway.
While the city is experiencing higher-than-normal car thefts, some vehicles are recovered. The Northwest District recovered 168 stolen vehicles this year, which also led to arrests.
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