MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A Shelby County employee is warning others to protect their property after her car was stolen Wednesday afternoon, right across the street from the county courthouse in Memphis.
Anna Carothers says it’s the second vehicle stolen from her this year, and she’d only been driving her new Infiniti for about two weeks.
“I was in awe. I just walked out of work, and my car was gone. I was speechless,” said Carothers.
She said the Infiniti was taken sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and at the time, it was parked next to a row of Shelby County deputies’ vehicles.
“I mean, it just blows my mind they are so bold,” Carothers said.
Carothers’ Infiniti was recovered by police Thursday morning at an apartment complex off Knight Arnold in the Airport area.
She said the thieves had shattered her sunroof and passenger side window and damaged her rims.
Carothers said the thieves had also reprogrammed her vehicle and she had to call a locksmith to get her car home.
“That’s how they are stealing them. They are reprogramming the key, so your key won’t work. So, you have to get it reprogrammed,” said Carothers. “A resident who called the car in said that spot is where a group of teenagers brings the cars nightly.”
This week Memphis Police told city council members that car thefts were up 139%. They said 2,000 vehicles had been stolen since the first of the year.
The Memphis Police Department’s Cyberwatch site shows over the last month, there have been nearly 100 motor vehicle thefts within a mile of the Shelby County courthouse.
Carothers said her other car was taken from outside her apartment building on Madison.
She’s now considering installing a kill switch but said even that may not stop those intent on stealing a car. She said police also recommended a steering wheel lock.
“They really don’t have any answers,” she said.”They said it’s on the judges letting these kids out and not giving them a punishment.”
Police said of the 175 arrests made for auto thefts this year, 66% of those charged are 18 or younger.