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Grand thefts of motor vehicles in Cleveland have nearly doubled from this time last year

More than 1,300 cases of grand theft of a motor vehicle have been reported to the Cleveland Division of Police in 2023, compared to just 697 at this time last year.

CLEVELAND — On Thursday, 3News obtained a detailed report from the Cleveland Division of Police which shows the rise in violent crimes, especially grand thefts of motor vehicles.

According to the report, there have been 1,382 cases of grand theft of a motor vehicle since Jan. 1, 2023, a whopping 98% increase in that crime from this time last year. In March of 2022, police reported 697 cases of grand theft of a motor vehicle.

"I mean, let's not kid ourselves: It's pretty lawless and crime's high, and it's very violent right now in Cleveland," Jeff Follmer, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolman's Association, said.

And sometimes, those car thefts can escalate: Earlier this, week, city detectives came upon what they believed was a stolen Kia when one of the officers was shot by an unidentified suspect. That detective is currently recovering in the hospital, while the suspect and three alleged co-conspirators remain at large.

More than 60% of those thefts have involved Kias or Hyudais, a phenomenon resulting from a defect making later models easier to steal. The city of Cleveland has since filed a lawsuit against both manufacturers, with Mayor Justin M. Bibb accusing them of putting "profits over people and profits over safety."

In 2023, only nine people have been arrested in connection to grand theft of a motor vehicle, according to the report. Additionally, in the week from March 5 to March 11 alone, police reported there were more than 100 such cases.

You can read the full report below:


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