SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 15: A worker uses a hose to wash

Never leave your car unlocked with the keys inside, even if you’re close enough to touch your vehicle. That’s the lesson learned this weekend for one North Carolina man. He was washing his white 1990 Ford F150 pickup at a car wash when suddenly the car sped away. Yes, the truck was stolen at a car wash. What is this world coming to? To make matters worse his dog Suzie was inside the vehicle as it drove away. This is according to a Facebook post by the Thomasville Police Department.

The incident occurred at the Hasty Car Wash in Thomasville around 6pm on Sunday. The suspect snuck into the otherside of the truck and was able to drive away before being spotted. Investigating officers believe he targeted the car wash just waiting for the right opportunity. According to the Facebook post, “the suspect walked right up while the owner was washing the truck and was able to sneak in the other side. The suspect sped off with the owner’s dog still inside. He was last seen on National Highway heading toward High Point.”

An Update

Luckily an update to the post let us know that Suzie, a Belgian Malinois, has been located. Tuesday she was returned to her owner. The truck and the suspect, identified as James William Howard, are still at large, however. If you have knowledge of the incident you are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 36-476-8477. The truck is a gray and white Ford F1050 with a plate number HP-8761.

This is definitely a reminder to always take your keys with you and keep your vehicle locked at all times. This includes at the gas station and the car wash. Stay safe out there. hopefully this is the last time we hear about a truck or any vehicle being stolen at a car wash.

***UPDATE 9/21/2022 @ 9:18 A.M.***James Howard has been taken into custody***UPDATE 9/20/2022 @ 9:30 P.M.***TPD is...

Posted by Thomasville Police Department NC on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

North Carolina City Tops The List Of Car Ownership Rates

This is one list, that’s an interesting statistic. I’m not sure if it’s inherently good or bad that a North Carolina city tops the list of car ownership rates. And another city comes in at number 7. On one hand, it’s good that our state is affluent enough that residents can afford to purchase and maintain vehicles. On the other hand it probably also speaks to the lack of good public transportation. Not just that but the spread-out suburban nature of most North Carolina cities just makes not having a vehicle pretty impractical. Even in Charlotte with the light rail and Lynx gold line, you’d be severely limited on where you could get to without a car.

This list was compiled by Automoblog who calculated the household vehicle access, percentage of workers commuting by car, and average commute times by using data from the 2020 U.S. Census. Additionally, the statistics for time lost in rush-hour traffic Automoblog sourced from the TomTom Traffic Index. They are based on the additional time spent commuting in rush hour compared to the same routes in normal traffic.

The Why Of Car Ownership

It’s not just North Carolina though, in fact, in most cities in the U.S a car is a necessity for the majority of households. There are of course exceptions, such as New York City. In fact in the Big Apple, according to this study, only 70% of households have access to a vehicle. I’m actually surprised that it is that high, I can’t imagine navigating driving around Manhattan. In contrast, though, the top 10 featured on this list all have over a 94.7% car ownership rate. Does it surprise you that two North Carolina cities have the highest car ownership rates? Texas has three but no other state has more than one.

Would you be willing to use public transportation if it could get you where you need to go quickly? Safety is by far my biggest concern, even more than ease of access. With concerns over gas emissions as well as cost, and some areas requiring electric vehicles it will be interesting to see what transpires in North Carolina. Keep reading to see the top 10 cities and read the full analysis here.

  • The Top 10 Cities For Car Ownership Rates

  • 10. Salt Lake City, UT

    Winter daytime shot of Salt Lake City. Featured is the temple from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormons

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 94.7 %

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 75%

    Average Commute Time: 19.8 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 57 hours

  • 9. Houston, TX

    houston texas

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 94.8%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 86%

    Average Commute Time: 28.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 86 hours

  • 8. Oklahoma City, OK

    OKC

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 91%

    Average Commute Time: 21.4%

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 55 hours

  • 7. Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte Staycation

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 82%

    Average Commute Time: 25.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 58 hours

  • 6. Orlando, FL

    Orlando

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.2%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 85%

    Average Commute Time: 28.1 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 68 hours

  • 5. Dallas, TX

    Dallas

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.4%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 85%

    Average Commute Time: 26.9 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 67 hours

  • 4. Austin, TX

    Austin

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.6%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 78%

    Average Commute Time: 24.6 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 74 hours

  • 3. Riverside, CA

    Riverside

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.7%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 88%

    Average Commute Time: 32 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 84 hours

  • 2. Nashville, TN

    Nashville

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 95.8%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 84%

    Average Commute Time: 25.4 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 75 hours

  • 1. Raleigh, NC

    Raleigh

    Households With Access To A Vehicle: 96.1%

    Workers Who Commute By Car: 82%

    Average Commute Time: 24.4 minutes

    Average Annual Time Lost in Rush Hour Traffic: 51 hours