Report: Springfield among cities with highest number of car thefts

SPRINGFIELD,Mo. (KY3) -- A new report found that Springfield has the eighth highest number of vehicle thefts among cities in the U.S. with more than 100,000 people.

According to Springfield Police's website, 40% of vehicle's stolen still had the keys in the car.

A report using data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report and the U.S. Census Bureau's Community survey found that car thefts in Springfield are happening nearly four times more often than they are nationally.

"Around this time of the year the number one reason for theft unfortunately is the cold," Carmil Enciu the owner of Carmil Car Audio.

Enciu said thieves hot wiring cars and driving away isn't common anymore.

"No, that's movie magic, you can't steal a car like that," he said. "The number one reason cars get stolen is because people are leaving the keys in it, it's running and they're not there. It's not because thieves are that smart."

Enciu said the solution could be as simple as adding a remote start to your vehicle.

"80% of our business right now is remote starts and security," he said.

If you've already invested in remote start, Enciu said there are other security options to put your mind at ease.

"Aftermarket security you have stuff like impact sensors, so if somebody does hit [your car] it will go off, where as factory is only if you open the door," he said.

Enciu said there are even options to monitor your car using your cell phone.

"If you decide to add the phone feature you could literally be anywhere as long as you have cell phone reception," he said. "You could be in California on vacation and your car could be in Florida, if something is happening to [your car] it's going to let you know."

The report found the average value of a stolen car in 2018 was more than eight thousand dollars. Enciu said the extra security can be much cheaper.

"[Installation can cost] $200 to $600," he said. "I know it's a pretty big number but we've got thousands of different cars too, so it just depends on the car."

Springfield police say the believe the report is misleading.

There is a city ordinance that says you cannot leave your car running unattended in a public area. That ordinance does not apply to a private driveway.

Click HERE to view the report.

Click HERE for what Springfield Police say can protect your car from theft.