Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Car thefts nearly doubling each month in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - Crime problems go beyond increases in homicides. The number of stolen cars this year has almost doubled every month.

"We be scared, we don't go out at night, and we don't drive in the rain," Baton Rouge resident Fannie Munson said.

"Compared to this time last year, we are seeing an increase," Lieutenant Don Coppola with BRPD said.

BRPD says it's often up to people to lock their vehicle doors, and not to leave their vehicles running unattended.

"If they want this car, they can have it, as long as they don't hurt me," Munson said.

According to police, there were 93 vehicles stolen in January 2021. This year, 130 were stolen in January. There were similar upticks in February and March: 66 compared to 105 and 77 compared to 96.

Two weeks into April, the 30 thefts are quickly racing to meet the 81 stolen last year.

"It may be to just joy ride, it may be with the intent to commit another crime. It could be to sell. There are a lot of different things that could be happening," Coppola said.

The latest vehicle theft was of a car with an infant inside on April 3 at the Evangeline and Plank road intersection. A 17-year-old was arrested.

"The vehicle was left running unattended. You had people help themselves. Luckily, the baby was safe," Coppola said.

Drivers are concerned for their safety as this troubling crime seems to be on the rise with no solution in sight.

"I will get out, get down on my knees, and tell them to take this car," Munson said.

BRPD says it's found most of the vehicles stolen this year and has made arrests in several cases.


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