Karl Racine, attorney general of Washington, D.C., believes that 75% of auto theft victims in the D.C. area are connected to the carsharing app Getaround, according to a report by ABC 7 WJLA.
Through Getaround’s app, car owners can rent their personal vehicles by the hour or day. Racine said that car thieves search the app for available cars, according to the report. Once they find the vehicle, they know the keys are hidden inside. Instead of renting the car, thieves smash the car’s window, find the key, and steal the car.
In 2020, more than 200 cars have already been stolen in the D.C. area, according to D.C. police. This is a 38% increase over the same period in 2019, says the report.
To help protect their vehicles, Getaround users can store keys in a lockbox inside their vehicles. Additionally, Getaround offers an enhanced security feature that will halt a car’s starter when it’s used by an unauthorized user.
“Keeping our car owners and their cars safe is our top priority at Getaround, and all owners have access to our Enhanced Security feature via the Getaround Connect,” Getaround said to ABC 7. “We are aware of the incidents in D.C. and are taking actions to mitigate them, both operationally and through product updates, including working with our partner garage(s) to ensure sufficient security is being put in place to prevent future break-ins from occurring. We work proactively with local law enforcement authorities and are cooperating with law enforcement agencies with their investigations in Washington, D.C.”