A new report shows how easy it is to become a car theft victim.
A new report released Thursday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says car thefts have jumped almost 70% in the last two years.
The report by the CPSC says the theft rate for vehicles is up almost 70%, driven largely by people breaking into vehicles to steal things like wallets and credit cards.
“Many people do not realize that they have a criminal record that could make it harder for them to get jobs and earn money,” said the CFPB’s Director Richard Cordray.
“The number of people who have been charged with car theft is rising dramatically, and we know this because we see more people than ever being charged with a felony.”
Cordray says while car theft rates are up, the overall rate of car thefts has remained relatively flat.
Corday says the increase in car thefts is not just the result of people breaking in cars and stealing cars, but also because of a new generation of thieves who have used social media to communicate with one another.
“The amount of time they spend on social media, and the fact that they’re using a lot of different platforms, including YouTube and other sites, that have now grown to a level that makes it easier to target a person and get them in trouble, that has led to a surge in car theft,” he said.
Cordes report says people who steal cars are much more likely to target people in the same household or workplace.
“It’s not only car thieves who are trying to break into cars, they’re trying to steal cars from their friends, from family members, from co-workers, from neighbors, and from people who live in the neighborhood, to be able to steal their cars and take them to someone else,” Cordray said.
The majority of car thieves are young people, between the ages of 18 and 25, but they’re also disproportionately young people of color.
According to the report, a third of all car thefts are committed by people under the age of 35.
And the rate of stolen vehicles is nearly double the national average.
“If we’re not paying attention to how to be more vigilant, and how to take the right steps to reduce our risk, it’s going to have serious consequences for us and our families,” Corday said.