America’s Unsolved Crime (Video) » The Industry Dot Biz

Car theft epidemic

Car thefts in the United States have seen a dramatic increase, with nearly two cars stolen every minute. In 2022 alone, more than 1 million vehicles were reported stolen, an increase of 7% from the previous year. The majority of these crimes remain unsolved, causing considerable frustration among victims and law enforcement.

High-tech tricks and organized crime

Thieves use sophisticated, high-tech methods to steal cars quickly and efficiently. Techniques such as relay attacks and key programming allow them to steal cars in less than a minute. Additionally, organized crime networks are involved in shipping stolen cars overseas, particularly to regions like West Africa and the Middle East.

Law Enforcement Challenges

Despite billions of dollars spent on law enforcement, the rate of solving car theft cases remains extremely low. Police in big cities like Chicago, Los Angeles and New York solve fewer than 15% of car theft cases. Many services lack the staff and resources to effectively combat the growing number of thefts.

Community Efforts

In some regions, community initiatives make a difference. For example, Chicago rideshare driver Matt Nette patrols the streets, identifying and reporting stolen cars. His efforts, along with those of a Facebook group of 31,000 members, resulted in the recovery of more than 4,500 stolen vehicles in three years.

Innovative solutions

Some law enforcement agencies are adopting new strategies to combat car theft. In Cook County, Illinois, a windshield sticker program allows automakers to report GPS data to police if the vehicle is reported stolen. However, the program has seen limited participation so far.

Impact on victims

Car theft victims face significant challenges, including the emotional distress of losing their vehicle and the bureaucratic hurdles of dealing with insurance and law enforcement. Many stolen cars are never recovered, and even when they are, they are not promptly returned to their owners.

International smuggling

A significant number of stolen cars are smuggled out of the country, often ending up in Africa and the Middle East. U.S. Customs and Border Protection works to intercept these vehicles at ports, but the scale of the problem is vast, with only a fraction of stolen cars recovered.

Car theft and personal security

Carjackings, in which thieves steal vehicles while their owners are still inside, are also on the rise in major cities. These crimes are particularly dangerous and can become violent. Experts advise victims to remain calm and comply with the thieves’ demands to avoid injury.


The increase in auto thefts across America presents a significant challenge to both law enforcement and the general public. Although high-tech methods and organized crime complicate the problem, community efforts and innovative policing strategies offer some hope. However, without substantial improvement in clearance rates and resource allocation, car theft will likely remain a widespread and largely unsolved crime in the United States.