Though violent crime has dropped compared to this time last year, property crimes have increased, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s midyear crime report.
According to CMPD, property crimes increased by 16%, contributing to an 11% increase in overall crime.
The largest contributor to the increase is car thefts by juveniles, police said. The spike is linked to the Kia/Hyundai Challenge, a social media trend that started around the summer of 2022.
So far this year, 3,717 reports of car theft have been made. Over 500 auto theft arrests have been made — 72% of them were minors.
“This is the largest increase we’ve seen in recent years,” Maj. Jonathan Thomas told reporters in a press briefing. “This issue is one of CMPD’s biggest concerns.”
The department has arrested parents and guardians, but progress hasn’t been made, police said.
Due to minor detainment laws, juveniles are released quickly to their parents and guardians after being arrested, often reoffending, Majors said.
Social media has been the leading factor, he said.
“It’s encouraging criminal activity,” he said. “These repetitive offenders are bragging on social media.”
Majors encouraged parents to monitor what their kids are watching on social media.
Violent crime decrease by 8% from the same time last year.
Other crime trends include:
- Homicide, down 15%
- Robberies, down 14%
- Rapes, down 26%
- Aggravated Assault, down 5%
Check back for more updates…