Auto Theft on the Rise in Montgomery County

A recent article reported by WTOP News underscores what many Montgomery County residents already know: the crime of auto theft is at an all-time high.  The WTOP piece reports that a Darnestown man, Shane Neff, recovered his own stolen vehicle in Southeast DC using his car’s tracking app.  The piece continues, “Neff, a former federal probation officer, said he was worried his car could get destroyed in the time it would take Montgomery County Police to farm out a call because the department’s Auto Theft unit had been disbanded earlier this year, due to defunding. ‘The auto theft unit was disbanded six months ago,’ Neff said. ‘They used to have six officers and one sergeant. Now the police don’t have the manpower to go get the cars when people report them stolen.’”


Area dealers are, of course, feeling the increase in auto related crimes more acutely than the general population.  If you are a dealer in Montgomery County and have experienced an increase in theft or attempted theft from your dealership, please submit details to Joe Koch, Vice President of Operations at, as WANADA is building a file of these events for future reference.  It is also important to communicate the vital role that the Auto Theft Task Force played in keeping these crimes at bay to elected officials in the county. Finally, be sure to review security protocols with staff and any vendors as appropriate.  Frontend diligence can often be the difference in a theft and attempted theft.  For your reference, WANADA has compiled a contact list of local auto crime investigators that can be found at the WANADA website here.

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