In 2017 and 2018 about 3,000 people each year had to deal with their vehicle being stolen, but Anchorage police say they are making a lot of progress in reducing those thefts.

"There are a combination of factors that are going in our favor," said APD Spokesperson Renee Oistad. "One is our partnership with the District Attorney's office and the Attorney General's office and prosecution of the people that are found responsible for committing these crimes. We also have an increase in patrol officers, all the academies we've been having. That allows us, when people call, for officers to respond more quickly and more officers to get to that area."

Police say if current numbers hold, police would see a substantial reduction in auto thefts compared to 2018, which ended with 2,945 reported thefts.

Here is a look at reported vehicle thefts the first seven months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, according to APD:

2018 January February March April May June July
  390 340 289 286 226 247 232
2019 January February March April May June July
  164 120 142 123 154 144 141

That is a reduction of 1,022 vehicles in the same seventh month period — a little over 50%.

Oistad says the public has also been a huge help in tracking down car thieves.

"So if you see something say something," she said. "People have been doing that. So when we have a citizen call and they see something that doesn't look right and they stay a safe distance but they're able to give us updates and follow the dispatchers instructions until officers can arrive, that allows us to get the people who are responsible for committing these crimes."

Oistad also wants to remind people about not leaving their car running unattended with the key in the ignition. She says about half of car thefts that happen involved someone who left their car running with the key in the ignition or hid a spare key inside the car that the thief found.

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