Wilson County sees huge increase in juvenile car thefts

Jacob Smith • Feb 8, 2018 at 5:52 PM

The number of juvenile car thefts in Wilson County in 2017 more than doubled from the year before, according to Wilson County sheriff’s Lt. Scott Moore.

Moore said a crime spree started in the spring and lasted regularly until fall.
“Deputies encountered groups of teens from the Lebanon area, as well as Antioch and Lakewood areas out of Davidson County,” said Moore. “Teens were hitting many well-populated areas such as subdivisions, where they would simply go open the doors of cars and find keys still in the ignition or just laying out in plain sight. If the keys were not found in an unsecure vehicle, they would move on to the next one.”

Many of the teens used the stolen vehicles for joyriding. They would take anything valuable out of the vehicles before dumping them. Wilson County sheriff’s deputies also recovered stolen vehicles in Wilson County from other jurisdictions, including Brentwood, Franklin, Nashville and Hendersonville that were taken by teens committing the same crimes.

Many of the cases led Wilson County sheriff’s deputies on chases, where weapons and drugs were found when the suspects were caught.

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan urged residents to lock their cars and take anything valuable out of the car when they get out. He also suggested never leaving vehicles unattended to warm up in the mornings.

“These cases can be prevented by securing your vehicle properly every time you leave it unoccupied,” said Bryan. “Many times we are finding citizens making honest mistakes, where they are preoccupied by talking on their phone while exiting their vehicle and just simply forgetting to secure them. While this is also occurring in many jurisdictions around us, as well, we will continue to communicate with other agencies on this growing problem, and we ask the public to remain vigilant on securing their vehicles.”

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