MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - In the United States, a vehicle is stolen every 45 seconds, according to Maryland State Police.
Law enforcement in Montgomery County says car thefts are on the rise, so now they are handing out a free tracking device to residents to mitigate the problem.
The tiles being given out can be placed in a hidden spot in a car and if it gets stolen, officers will be able to help the owner of the vehicle track where it is faster.
"A lot of times, we’re noticing people are leaving their vehicles unlocked, as well as leaving the keys in the vehicle when it’s unattended or people that deliver through Doordash or Uber Eats – they run inside the store real quick to pick up the order and leave their vehicle running out on the curb and people jump in and take the vehicle," said Commander Nick Augustine of the Montgomery County Police Department.
Statistics show about half of car thefts are due to driver errors.
Montgomery County police want to make it clear that they won't be tracking your every move with the tile device. They aren't able to keep the data of where your vehicle is until you report it stolen and give that information to police.
Only 52% of vehicles reported stolen are recovered. However, Montgomery County police say the sooner they can get a car back, the sooner they can process it for evidence to find the thief who stole it. Or, in some cases, they can even make an immediate arrest if the person is still driving the car around.
The tiles are free and for anyone who lives in the county who wants one. The Montgomery County Police Department has 110. They say that about 80 of them are accounted for, so they have just 30 left.
If you're interested in a tile, you can visit the Montgomery County police website, set up an appointment, and meet with an officer at the District who will help you set it up.
You must be the registered owner of the vehicle in order to get one.