Vehicle thefts nearly triples in parts of St. Louis region, contributing to higher insurances rates

AAA reports 22% higher rates compared to 2020
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Vehicle thefts in the St. Louis metro have significantly increased in parts of the region.

According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, in October 2021, officers investigated 333 vehicle thefts compared to 912 in October 2022.

In unincorporated St. Louis County, the police department reported 132 car thefts in October 2021 compared to 305 in October 2022.

Unincorporated St. Charles County reported a decrease in thefts. Nine in October 2021 and six in October 2022.

The St. Louis area AAA reported the thefts are a contributing factor to increased insurance rates.

“In Missouri, between 2020 and 2022, insurance companies, in general, on average from all companies rose about 22% in those three years, which is the third highest in the company by state,” said Nick Chabarria with AAA.

St. Louis lawyer Al Watkins was a recent victim of car theft. Watkins told News 4, someone stole his pickup truck while it was running Sunday.

Watkins said the vehicle has been recovered, but no suspect is in custody at this time. Watkins also thwarted a car theft in September of 2021. During the attempted theft, a suspect pointed a gun at Watkins. Richmond Heights PD confirmed to News 4 a suspect has been identified in the case.

“Moved a couple of pieces into my office building. Came right back outside. Gone,” Watkins said. “We have tiny towns with budgets and not the resources needed to address what has become a wholesale free-for-all by those who think it’s OK for them to steal your property.”

Watkins said moving forward all employees at his law firm will be armed.

The Richmond Heights police chief told News 4 stricter laws and prosecution are needed.

Richmond Heights PD reported three car thefts in October of 2021 compared to 10 in October 2022.