Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Auto thefts in St. Petersburg drop 1.1 percent from last year

 U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, left, takes notes as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, right, talks about car thefts in St. Petersburg during a meeting in July.

SCOTT KEELER | Times

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, left, takes notes as St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway, right, talks about car thefts in St. Petersburg during a meeting in July.

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg Police announced a drop in auto thefts Thursday, citing a multi-pronged approach for the reason behind the 1.1 percent difference from last year.

Compared to this time last year, Chief Tony Holloway said police saw drops in earlier months. The number of auto thefts so far in 2017 are 719, down from 727 last year.

"We're starting to see them go down," said Holloway, who credited the department's multi-faceted approach over the past months for the lower auto theft rates.

In April, the Tampa Bay Times published a series detailing the car theft epidemic in Pinellas County. The Times analyzed a year-and-a-half worth of cases, finding that kids were crashing stolen cars every four days.

HOT WHEELS: Kids are driving a car-theft epidemic. It's a dangerous — sometimes deadly — game.

Following the investigation, U.S. Rep Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, along with other local leaders and politicians, said more needed to be done to prevent kids from stealing cars. The Florida Legislature passed bills that would make it easier to detain chronic offenders for longer periods of time, whether in a detention center or on an electric monitor.

RELATED: U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist on juvenile auto theft: "People are dying because of what's happening here."

Among the department's efforts were greater cooperation with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, using the property crime unit to handle auto thefts and arrests, focusing on youth gang crime, and weekly reviews of auto theft data trends, according to a news release.

Holloway said the most effective part was spreading information through social media, reminding residents to take their keys out of their cars and to make sure their doors are locked to give thieves one less opportunity.

Additionally, the department monitors habitual offenders, checking in on them every day or every other day, he said.

Auto thefts in St. Petersburg drop 1.1 percent from last year 10/12/17 [Last modified: Thursday, October 12, 2017 12:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Michael Connelly's 'Two Kinds of Truth' is Bosch at his best

    Books

    Harry Bosch's office is a long way from his former desk in the Los Angeles Police Department's elite robbery-homicide squad.

  2. Local craft beer of the week: Malt liquor? Yes — 3 Daughters Brewing's Ctrl + Malt + Del

    Bars & Spirits

    In 2004, Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery was well into the process of making a name for itself through envelope-pushing beers, like 120-Minute IPA and World Wide Stout, brews notorious for their astronomical alcohol content.

    Photo by Justin Grant
  3. History rewrite: What if Dalvin Cook, Lamar Jackson had landed at Florida?

    College

    Two days before suiting up in the Under Armour All-America Game at Tropicana Field, Dalvin Cook announced a change of heart.

     Florida State Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook (4) on a run in the first quarter of the game between the Florida State Seminoles and the Florida Gators at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.
  4. He sings, he acts, he ministers -- Meet Heanon Tate

    Religion

    God gives every person unique talents to use them, says Heanon Tate, pastor of Force of Life Church in North Tampa.

    Heanon Tate, pastor of Force of Life Church in North Tampa.  Tate, 46, is a musician, actor, athlete and minister. He has appeared off Broadway and in television shows including Army Wives (in which he had a reoccurring role) and Homeland.