Auto theft in Baltimore, Maryland, has skyrocketed over the past year, forcing more victims to purchase replacement vehicles and raising car insurance rates across the city, Fox45 News reported.
One local car dealership has seen a roughly 5-8% increase in customers who have had their cars stolen, Craig Farmer, an executive at Len Stoler Automotive, told Fox45. Monthly auto insurance rates are 43% higher in Baltimore than anywhere else in the state and 231% more than the average national rate, according to Insurify, a company that tracks national and local insurance rate trends.
“Car insurance is so expensive in Baltimore primarily due to its population density and high crime rates,” according to Insurify. “Insurers see these risk factors and consider them likely to increase the chances that you’ll need to file an insurance claim. To account for this increased risk, car insurance companies in Baltimore charge higher premiums than many other Maryland cities.”
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Law enforcement officers have blamed the increase in auto thefts on a 2022 TikTok video trend that showed viewers how to easily hotwire Kia and Hyundai cars, according to Fox45. Kia and Hyundai rolled out free updates to their cars to prevent future thefts.
Despite criminals stealing 8,812 cars in the city since January, police have only made 127 arrests related to auto theft cases this year, according to police data.
The Baltimore Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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