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The Breakdown: Auto thefts in New Orleans slow slightly, still on record pace

1,948 have been stolen in New Orleans this year as of March 25.

NEW ORLEANS — For this Breakdown, let’s start with NOPD’s preliminary crime statistics for last week.

Credit: NOPD

166 cars were stolen that week in New Orleans, bringing the yearly total to 1,948 as of March 25.

At that same time in 2022, 807 cars had been stolen.

But the City Council Crime Dashboard gives us a bigger picture.  There were 4,338 auto thefts in all of 2022. That was the highest number in a decade. As of March 31, the 90th day of 2023, there were 2,070 auto thefts. 

If thefts don’t slow, that would put New Orleans on pace to have nearly double the number of auto thefts as in 2022.

You’ll remember 2023 got off on a bad note, with a huge surge in vehicle thefts. 728 cars were stolen in the first 28 days of the year; an average of 26 cars per day.

Many of them were Kia and Hyundai models with an ignition vulnerability.

That spike has slowed, but not significantly. NOPD Data works out to an average of about 20 stolen cars per day for the last 28 days.

So it may go without saying, but keep using your wheel lock, or get your software upgraded if you own a vulnerable Kia or Hyundai. And be sure not to leave your keys or any valuables visible in your car.


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