October 19, 2021
Philadelphia residents who live near the Museum of Art should take extra precaution amid a surge in reported thefts, police warned this week.
The museums and recreational amenities near Fairmount are among Philadelphia's most popular destinations, but authorities say they have observed a substantial increase in vehicle thefts, especially among motorcycles and scooters.
The police department's Ninth District tweeted Monday that vehicles and valuable items have been reported stolen at a higher-than-usual rate. The district covers the area from Poplar Street south to Lombard Street and from Broad Street west to the Schuylkill River.
The 9th is experiencing a pattern of stolen motorcycles and scooters. Also a pattern of vehicles being broken into around the Art Museum and Kelly Drive. Purses & wallets are the most common items stolen.— PPD 9th District (@PPD09Dist) October 18, 2021
Statistics provided by Philadelphia police show there have been 198 auto thefts this year in the Ninth District, compared to 126 through the same period last year — a 57% increase.
The district also has had 478 vehicle break-ins reported in 2021, a slight increase from the 470 during the same period last year. Thefts directly from people, a category that includes pickpockets and other thefts that don't involve a weapon or use of force, have risen by 140%, jumping from 32 last year to 77 in 2021.
In Philadelphia as a whole, auto thefts have increased by 19.5%. Thefts from vehicles have remained roughly the same compared to last year. Thefts from people have increased by about 14%.
"Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle," a police spokesperson said Tuesday.
Police also are reminding residents and visitors to close and lock all doors and windows when parking, park in well-lit areas when possible and never leave keys in or on vehicles.