14,000 Cars Abandoned in Oakland In Just Six Months Because of Massive Theft Issue

If you take a drive through the streets of Oakland, California, you might think you’ve stumbled onto a post-apocalyptic movie set. Abandoned cars are everywhere, littering the sides of roads, blocking driveways and business entrances. It’s a stark reminder of just how bad the car theft problem has gotten in this city.

In the first half of 2023 alone, a mind-boggling 13,856 cars were reported abandoned, according to the Oakland Department of Transportation. That’s triple the number from the previous year.

The city is drowning in abandoned vehicles, to the point where they’ve run out of space to store them all. They’re now spending a whopping $1 million just to rent extra lots to hold all these cars.

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Local business owner Bruce Vong sums up the frustration and fear in the community: “Some park in front of the gate. I can’t even leave and if you intervene, they’ll shoot you.” Residents are being told to call 311 instead of the police for abandoned cars, unless they’re blocking a driveway. But as you can imagine, 311 is overwhelmed with calls about this issue.

The Oakland City Council has thrown some money at the problem, hiring more tow companies and using vacant state DOT lots. But that doesn’t help the people whose cars have been stolen and are now stuck with huge bills to get them back. In some cities, if a car sits in the lot too long, it gets auctioned off – sometimes without the owner even knowing it was found, like what happened to a woman in St. Louis.

Let’s be real: this level of crime is completely unacceptable. The whole “defund the police” experiment has been a disaster, and it’s time for Oakland to do a complete 180.

They need to start supporting and working with law enforcement again, not demonizing them. It won’t be easy to rebuild that relationship, but the longer they wait, the worse this problem is going to get.

Car theft and abandoned vehicles are turning Oakland into a city where people don’t feel safe living or running a business.

If officials don’t get serious about cracking down on crime and supporting the police, Oakland is going to keep spiraling downward.

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Residents are fed up, and they have every right to be. It’s time for the city to step up and start putting public safety first again. The future of Oakland depends on it.