COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC News Now) — Prince George’s County Police deal are dealing with triple as many auto thefts compared to last year. Just within the past week police have seen more 150 cases involving stolen vehicles. Many residents say more needs to be done to bring these numbers down.
“Overall in every county the crime has gone up, and we’ve seen a dramatic increase,” said Shyni Poddar.
On Wednesday police arrested a 20-year-old in Suitland for carjacking a vehicle on Baltimore Ave. in College Park on Tuesday.
According to police data, so far this year there have been 2,481 stolen vehicle cases. Last year around this time it was 852 — that’s nearly a 200% increase.
Many of these cases involve Hyundais and Kias.
“There’s a simple fix they can do right now, which is voluntarily agreeing to a full-scale recall,” said Adam Teitelbaum, director for the Office of Consumer Protection at for the D.C. Attorney General.
On Thursday, the Maryland, and Washington D.C. Attorneys General along with several others wrote a letter calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall Hyundais and Kias manufactured between 2011 – 2022.
There have been hundreds of cases where people use USB drives to steal vehicles.
Poddar said safety is her concern. She’s hoping the county could address the police shortage.
“If there was like a $10,000 or $15,000 bonus plan incentive plan that will be amazing to get cops you know, just recruit cops and or whatever it is that we can do to make PG County better,” she said.
With a lot of these cases involving teens, some residents says the county needs to provide more resources.
“I think a lot of these carjackings are being done by you know, 20-year-olds, 19 [year-olds]. So if you had more resources for them, that would help as well,” said Aron Lee.
According to Prince George’s County, approximately 32 teens and 23 adults have been arrested for carjackings.
Police are encouraging people to use wheel locks, keep car doors locked and remain vigilant.