Wichita Police investigate more auto thefts

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The number of auto theft reports in Wichita continue to increase.

Since the beginning of the year, there have 1,494 cars stolen, while 1,254 were stolen during the same period last year. This is an increase of 19.1-percent.

The total number of auto theft reports have increased from 2017, 2016, and 2015, with 2,476, 2,100, and 1,916 cases, respectively.

"It is frustrating. We still have a lot of issues with people leaving their cars unattended, keys in it, all during the year. So far this year, we've had 118 self admit that they've left their vehicle unattended and making themselves an easy target," said Lt Chris McAuliffe, Wichita Police.

Despite car owners locking their cars and parking them on driveways, McAuliffe said thieves are looking for cars older than 2010 or those without security systems. 

"Some of these people really know how to go and steal a vehicle, defeating those ignition devices, and that's really frustrating for me because I know they did everything they were supposed to do," he said.

Wichita Police recover between 65 and 75-percent of stolen cars each year. 

They encourage people to become less of a target by adding remote start systems, steering wheel locks, or kill switches.

"People really need to work hard and consider secondary devices when it comes to those older vehicles. There is an extra expense, some extra hassle, but whatever you can do to make yourself less a target of opportunity, the better off you are," said McAuliffe.

Police also recommend the following:

  • Do not leave the title in your car
  • Take out valuables, including guns
  • If possible, park the car in a garage
  • Know your tag number in case you need to report it

Police always encourage neighbors to be watchful and report any suspicious activity or people in the area.

For more tips to prevent an auto theft, click here.

For a list of the most stolen vehicles, click here.

  • NEWSNewsMore>>

  • Silver Alert issued in Kansas for missing Iowa man

    Silver Alert issued in Kansas for missing Iowa man

    The Lawrence Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation are asking for the public's help finding an Iowa man. James Larson was last seen on November 13 in Lawrence on his way to Yuma, Ariz. from Iowa but he never arrived.  He is described as approximately 6-foot, 220 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes. 

    The Lawrence Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation are asking for the public's help finding an Iowa man. James Larson was last seen on November 13 in Lawrence on his way to Yuma, Ariz. from Iowa but he never arrived.  He is described as approximately 6-foot, 220 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes. 

  • Report: Pompeo could be considering Senate run

    Report: Pompeo could be considering Senate run

    According to a report in Time Magazine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told three prominent republicans, whose names were not mentioned, that he plans to resign from the Trump Administration to run for the U.S. Senate in 2020.  

    According to a report in Time Magazine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told three prominent republicans, whose names were not mentioned, that he plans to resign from the Trump Administration to run for the U.S. Senate in 2020.  

  • Valley Center police search for hit-and-run suspects

    Valley Center police search for hit-and-run suspects

    Valley Center PDValley Center PD
    Valley Center PDValley Center PD

    The Valley Center Police Department is searching for two suspects who left the scene of a hit-and-run. 

    The Valley Center Police Department is searching for two suspects who left the scene of a hit-and-run. 

Check out these photos from across KAKEland snapped by our viewers, staff and local officials. Do you have pictures to share with us? Email them to news@kake.com.

MORE SLIDESHOWS HERE