A decade after vehicle thefts became an epidemic in Reading, police say the crime is on a pace to reach a 10-year low.
As of the end of July, 170 vehicles had been stolen in the city this year, compared to 246 at the same point last year, said Officer Keith Merkel, one of three city policemen assigned full time to a state police regional auto theft task force.
But Merkel isn’t ready to pop champagne corks. He noted August and September were the busiest months for vehicle thefts in the city last year.
While auto thefts have declined locally and nationally in recent years, car thefts actually spiked in Reading in 2012.