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When was the first car theft?

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Wiki User
04/10/2016

There is no way to pinpoint exactly when, or exactly where the first auto theft occurred, given that experiments with these new machines were taking place in a number of countries. In the 1890s, automobiles (or "horseless carriages") were new and unique, and there were not many of them on the roads; only the very wealthy had one, so theft would have been rare and easy to spot, given how few people owned their own vehicle. But by the early 1910s, we do start to see US newspaper stories about cars being stolen; and it was enough of a problem in the early 1920s that the police worked with local radio stations to broadcast reports of stolen cars over the air, in hopes that somebody might see the car in question and report it to law enforcement.