Memphis on pace for more than 4,000 car thefts in 2018

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - It started with a stolen car and ended with more than a dozen gunshots and two violent crashes as car theft victims allegedly chased the suspects Friday morning in Hickory Hill, according to Memphis Police Department.

"I found my neighbor's daughter where the truck ran into the house," one man said. "She was there in the bedroom window. So they took her to the hospital."

This is the third time this week a stolen vehicle has violently crashed in Memphis. Sunday morning, a suspect wanted for stabbing two people led police on a long chase before rolling a stolen Infinity in front of homes filled with children.

"It's very close. I got kids in here. They could have ran into cars or in the house anything," Alfred Swain said.

Tuesday morning, seven teens were in a stolen Jeep when it rolled during a slow police chase. None of the teens were seriously injured.

The numbers behind this string of stolen cars are disturbing.

In 2016, there were 2,796 reported auto thefts. In 2017, there were 3,434. So far in 2018, 1,020 cars have been reported stolen. At this pace, there would be more than 4,000 cars reported stolen by the end of the year.

In March alone, there have been 160 stolen cars reported to police, a rate of over 10 per day.

"Something real serious is going on," a man said.

"Memphis is like that--crazy everywhere," Rony Carilo said.

MPD said the easiest way to keep your car from being stolen is to lock your doors, don't leave it running, and never leave your keys in the car.

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