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County Police Warns Public Of Major Uptick In Car Thefts

May 29, 2023

The New Castle County Division of Police is actively investigating an uptick in vehicle thefts and attempted thefts. Over the past week, the Division has received a staggering 35 reports of stolen or targeted vehicles, with a majority of them being Hyundai and Kia models. As authorities work to apprehend the suspects, they are asking residents to take proactive measures to safeguard their vehicles and belongings.

They have highlighted several key steps that residents can take to minimize their vulnerability to theft:

1. Locking Doors and the 9 PM Routine: Ensuring that your vehicle doors are locked is a fundamental first step in deterring thieves. The 9 PM routine, a widely practiced habit, involves a quick check of your property every evening to ensure all doors, including those of your vehicles, are securely locked.

2. Removing Keys and Valuables: Never leave your keys, including spare keys, inside the vehicle. Furthermore, it’s advisable to remove any valuables from plain sight to reduce the attractiveness of your vehicle to potential thieves.

3. Securing Windows and Parking: Closing all windows before leaving your vehicle can prevent unauthorized access. Additionally, parking your vehicle in well-lit areas and near surveillance cameras can discourage criminals from targeting it.

4. Alarms and Cameras: Installing an audible alarm system or a motion-activated in-car camera can alert you to potential break-in attempts and provide valuable evidence for law enforcement.

5. Tracking Devices: Equipping your vehicle with an additional tracking device can greatly assist authorities in locating and recovering your vehicle if it is stolen.

6. Avoiding Unattended Running Vehicles: Leaving your vehicle running and unattended is an open invitation for thieves. Even if you’re just stepping away for a moment, turn off the engine and lock the doors.

7. Stay Vigilant: Being aware of your surroundings can help you identify suspicious activities and potentially prevent thefts from occurring in the first place.

In the unfortunate event that your vehicle is stolen, it’s crucial to act promptly. Contact 9-1-1 immediately and provide as much information as possible, including the license plate number, the year, make, model, and color of the car, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), and any information about tracking capabilities your vehicle might have.

Responding to the thefts, both Kia and Hyundai have released software upgrades designed to counteract these incidents. These enhancements are particularly targeted at vehicles lacking push-button ignitions and advanced anti-theft systems.

Owners of Hyundai and Kia models are strongly encouraged to visit the following links to learn more about these software upgrades and any other relevant security measures:



Furthermore, residents can access free steering wheel locks to provide an additional layer of security for their vehicles. To obtain these locks, contact the NCCPD Public Safety Headquarters at (302) 395-8050.

1. Locking Doors and the 9 PM Routine:2. Removing Keys and Valuables:3. Securing Windows and Parking:4. Alarms and Cameras:5. Tracking Devices:6. Avoiding Unattended Running Vehicles:7. Stay Vigilant:Kia:Hyundai: