NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— Nearly one car per hour is being stolen in the City of New Orleans, that’s according to the Metropolitan Crime Commission who tracks crime data.

According to stats, while car jackings are down since 2022, car thefts are increasing at a staggering rate and show no signs of slowing down.

“This is an explosion up over 100 percent this year than last year,” Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission said.

“Almost 3200 car thefts so far this year as of May 17th. We are averaging about a car theft an hour,” he said.

An 136 percent increase in auto theft this year with about 23 cars being stolen per day in New Orleans and that’s on top of all the other crime the NOPD’s dealing with all while being short staffed.

“Their priorities are violent crime calls for service,” he said.

Goyeneche says there’s an additional 20 percent of citizens—755 with auto theft calls that are being reported as “Gone on Arrival,” once police did arrive.

“The victims left because they couldn’t wait any longer,” he said.

Goyeneche says there’s a small criminal population specializing in car thefts, so he feels if police can make arrests, the car thefts will go down.

“One of the strategies if someone is released pre-trial for auto thefts from reoffending in using electronic monitors. So if anyone wearing a monitor is at the scene of an automobile theft or other felony police will then have a suspect,” Goyeneche said.

In the meantime, the best advice he can give to prevent your car from being stolen is:

“Put a steering wheel locking device for anyone trying to decide if they want to steal your car, that’s a visual deterrent,” he said.

If you own a Kia or Hyundai, you want to be even more careful. Goyeneche says about 50 percent of cars that are stolen are Kia’s or Hyundai’s.