Car thefts are on the rise at KCI Airport. Here is the number of stolen goods this year
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For this frequent traveler, it was customary to take some pictures of her car Kansas City International Airport Whenever she travels out of town as a way to help her remember where she parked her car when she returns.
But, after she returned from a business trip late this summer, when she went to the spot in the new parking garage where the photo showed her car should be, there was no car.
“My car is gone,” said the woman, whose name is withheld by The Star because she was the victim of a crime. “I took a picture of the row and everything I parked in, and it wasn’t there.”
After going up and down the adjacent rows, she called her husband just to see if he had picked her up, perhaps as a joke, while she was gone. It was then that she realized her car had been stolen from the airport parking lot.
It’s a scene that happens often these days at KCI.
Since the pandemic, the total number of car thefts reported in KCI has risen significantly, according to crime data obtained by The Star through a Missouri Sunshine request.
Discussing the data request, KCI Airport Police Captain Tim Brewer said that even without looking at reports over the past two years, there has definitely been a “really significant increase in cars being stolen outright” from parking lots.
In 2018, there were 29 vehicles reported stolen at KCI, compared to 128 vehicles reported stolen last year. That’s roughly two and a half cars per week reported stolen at the airport last year.
KCI officials confirm that overall car theft numbers at the airport differ from those reported for theft by rental car companies, which includes vehicles that were not returned for some reason as well as outright thefts.
In 2018, 27 out of 29 reported car thefts were linked to car rental companies, according to data obtained by The Star. The following year, all 64 car thefts reported on airport property were linked to car rental companies.
But since the pandemic hit, the number of reported car thefts not linked to rental car companies has risen from 10 in 2020 to 76 in 2022. Last year, nearly 60% of reported vehicles were stolen from airport parking lots, parking garages and others. Locations at the airport, and not associated with car rental agencies.
As of mid-September, there have been 44 car thefts this year that were not linked to rental car companies, which is roughly 66% of the total 70 vehicles reported stolen so far this year at the airport.
For about a week, The Star requested an interview with KCI officials and airport police about the data; To get their insight into what was happening with the increase in stolen vehicles at the airport and whether anything was being done to prevent it.
“We will not grant an interview,” KCI spokesman Joe McBride said Tuesday afternoon after checking with the city’s communications department.
“It’s sad to see all your stuff gone.”
Victims find that thieves steal more than just cars.
In 2021, a Liberty family out of town for the Christmas holiday noticed that a car parked in their driveway had been stolen. It was not until they returned to KCI the next day that they found their truck parked there had also been stolen, and their home had been robbed.
Police believe that the thieves were able to break into the house through items left in the truck stolen from the airport.
For the traveler whose car was seized late this summer, she also lost valuables that she liked to keep with her in the car, including her grandmother’s class ring and other items, including sports equipment, that she had to rush to replace over the weekend. next .
“So the car, not much, but some of the things in it were important,” she said. They also change their garage door openers in case burglars discover where you live.
When she left on her trip, she parked her car in the new garage on Monday, and it is believed her car was taken the next day. That’s when the thieves used her credit card left inside the car to pay the $50 garage exit fee, she said. Because this happened a full day after she parked her car for the first time, she doesn’t think she was followed into the garage.
When she returned a few days later on Friday, she discovered that her car had been stolen.
The police told her that her car was the easiest type to steal, which is what happened Thieves have targeted Kia and Hyundai cars And the oldest Prius across the country.
The experience has changed her habits when she travels. She no longer leaves her garage exit ticket inside her car. They also park their cars near the station doors and on higher levels than the garage because they are not suitable for thieves.
Weeks later, her car was found on Ninth Street in downtown Kansas City.
She said it looked as if someone used a crowbar to open the door and then hot-wired it to start the engine. The car was struck and stripped of its wheels. The valuables she left inside the car were also gone.
“It’s sad to see your car looking like that,” she said. “It is sad to see all your things gone.”