Car Behind Fence

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Car theft in Louisville is up 35% in 2021, and some thieves are using stolen cars to commit more violent crimes across the city.

Daniel Stuber and Kassi Clifford's security cameras caught a would-be thief attempting to steal their car from the driveway earlier this week.

"Someone had run into our driveway with a ski mask on," Stuber said. "There was another person that stayed by the street as a lookout."

It was 5:30 p.m. and still daylight. The thief used a stolen key to gain access into the car before something scared him off. The getaway car's license plate was tracked to another stolen vehicle.

Stuber said he was on a Zoom call before he started hearing a car honking in his driveway.

"A woman tells me, 'I don't know if you know this, but someone just tried to steal your car,'" he said.

It's like deja'vu for the couple. Thieves already stole one of their cars a few weeks ago from their Bon Air home near Taylorsville Road.

"We had one car stolen and one car attempted stolen in less than a month," Clifford said. "(People ask), 'Where do you live?' But it doesn't matter where you live, because I found out from talking to the police that it's been happening from Oldham County to Bullitt County and everywhere in between."

According to Louisville Metro Police, in the first 2.5 months of the year, 768 cars have been reported stolen. That's an increase of 189 stolen cars compared to this time last year.

"It was so weird and so surreal to be in the middle of the day, and be like, 'Where'd my car go?'" said Clifford, who was warming up her car during the ice storm.

She said she went inside for two minutes before seeing her car driving down the street. It was 2:30 p.m. The couple later found the car ditched in a nearby parking lot and learned from police that the car was used in a violent crime.

"They found shell casings in our car and said that my car was involved in a drive-by (shooting)," Clifford said. "That just takes everything up higher, as far as not feeling safe."

The couple's home now is covered with cameras and alarms with clubs on the steering wheels and new locks and keys on the way.

"It's like you're jaded, you know what I mean?" said Clifford, normally a happy-go-lucky neighbor now feeling constantly on guard. "I feel distrustful of my own neighbors, and I don't like that."

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