LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Thieves are stealing cars at an alarming pace this year, with Metro police on the verge of reporting 10,000 motor vehicle thefts so far.

Through Dec. 2, Metro reports 9,810 motor vehicle thefts — an 18.8% increase over the same time period last year. Property crimes overall are up just over 10% compared to last year. Violent crimes are down almost 5%.

Police have made 251 arrests for motor vehicle theft, according to stats provided by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. But arrests for possession of a stolen vehicle have shot up more than 25%, with 1,085 arrests.

Most auto thefts have occurred in Metro’s Southeast Area Command — the east valley (east of Pecos Road and south of Charleston Boulevard. A total of 1,306 motor vehicles have been stolen there.

But the area around the Strip — the Convention Center Area Command — saw a big surge in auto thefts this year — up 55% from 2021 levels. A total of 1,037 motor vehicles have been stolen, compared to 668 during the same time frame last year.

Other parts of town have also seen big increases, including a 30% increase in the northeast valley, a 27% increase downtown, a 22% increase in the northwest valley and a 21% increase in Summerlin. Every one of Metro’s 10 area commands reported an increase as of Dec. 2.

But over the past month, the increases reversed — only three area commands reported higher numbers of thefts in November compared to October. The Enterprise Area Command saw a 20% increase last month.

North Las Vegas police have been battling a similar problem, reporting 1,657 motor vehicle thefts through the end of November — a 32% increase over the first 11 months of 2021.

Statistics from Henderson have been requested, but the Henderson Police Department hasn’t replied to the request yet.