By Lily Cummings | WWL-TV | January 20, 2023


NEW ORLEANS — In 2022, New Orleans saw the highest number of vehicles thefts in a decade.

According to the City of New Orleans’ crime dashboard, there were 4,011 auto thefts.

Now 20 days into 2023, the numbers are alarming.

“618 reported car thefts in the first 19 days is a disturbing number. That’s about 33 auto thefts per day,” Raphael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission said. 

The Metropolitan Crime Commission report paints a different picture than the City’s crime dashboard. 

According to the dashboard, there have been 461 auto thefts in 2023. That’s an average of 23 per day.

Of those 461 thefts, about 44 percent of the vehicles have been recovered, according to the NOPD.

NOPD Interim Superintendent, Michelle Woodfork, addressed it at a press conference on Friday.

“We attribute it to the type of vehicles that are being stolen. Half of our stolen vehicles that have been reported this year are Hyundais or Kias,” Woodfork said.

District Attorney, Jason Williams, said you don’t see cars being stolen from dealerships because thieves want more than the car.

“So, it’s not just getting inside of a car. They’re looking for tools to commit other crimes,” Williams said, “So, these crimes are part of the violence you’re seeing in the city, and we are strategically attacking those things.”

Meanwhile in Jefferson Parish, the Sheriff’s Office reports 567 vehicles were stolen in the first 11 months of 2022. Data for December hasn’t been released yet.

So far this year, JPSO said they’ve received roughly 40 calls for stolen cars, an average of two per day.

St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office reports 160 vehicles were stolen in 2022.

One thing all the parishes have in common is that Louisiana State Police are authorized to investigate auto theft cases in any parish, according to Katherine Stegall with the LSP.

In a statement Stegall said:

“The Louisiana State Police’s Insurance Fraud and Auto Theft (IFAT-NFO) Section, based in New Orleans, is dedicated to conducting comprehensive investigations throughout the metropolitan area and surrounding parishes. These investigations encompass a wide range of criminal activities, including stolen vehicle recoveries, vehicle theft conspiracies, and insurance fraud organizations. IFAT Detectives often collaborate with local, federal, parish, and municipal law enforcement agencies to ensure that these investigations are conducted thoroughly.”