Car thieves in New York City are on high alert, with car thefts up 61% so far this year, according to the latest alarming statistics.
There were 4,467 car thefts so far in 2022, compared to 2,769 in the same time period in 2021. The crime category jumped 97 percent compared to 2020, according to NYPD data.
The Ford Econoline is the vehicle of choice for the sticky finger set, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda CRV, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry, according to the New York Police Department.
Motorists in the Bronx have been hardest hit: 1,437 cars have been boosted so far this year in the town, the largest in the city, and a 70% increase over the same period last year, when 845 cars were stolen, according to the count.
In Brooklyn, 1,183 vehicles were stolen in 2022, compared to 806 in 2021, an increase of 47%.
The data showed that car theft in Queens rose 63% in 2022, with 1,107 accidents to 678 the previous year, and jumped 62% in Manhattan, which saw 604 thefts to 373 incidents in 2021.
Even Staten Island, the so-called “cop district”, is not safe. While The Rock recorded the lowest number of car thefts in the city this year at 136, that number is disingenuous — it’s a 103 percent increase from 67 vehicles hijacked last year.
Following a sit-in with the town’s chief constable, the Staten Island Advance reported that the island “has become a hotspot for auto theft crews – some operating out of New Jersey – to snatch luxury vehicles and ship them abroad within hours”.
Hondas drive auto thieves gaga because the catalytic converters can be removed in minutes.
The catalytic converters, which are part of a car’s exhaust system, break up some of the smog that may come out of the exhaust pipe.
It also includes rare metals such as rhodium, palladium and platinum, which trade in four and five digits per ounce on the black market. Experts said that converters usually include 3 to 7 grams of this precious metal.
The NYPD has partially blamed the government’s bail reform on the rise. The law, which took effect on January 1, 2020, prohibits pretrial detention for most misdemeanors and some non-violent felonies.
Grand Larceny Auto’s fee is only worth a desk ticket under the state’s bail reform law—so bad guys caught by cops stealing a $35,000 Ford Econoline are back on the street in a New York minute.
“We used to call the desk attendance card the ticket for disappearance,” said Joseph Giacalon, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD sergeant. “Deterrence is important in reducing crime and at the moment there is none – it is that simple.”
This rise has been fueled by tempting criminals using stolen flights to get around and reckless drivers, police say.
In addition, the New York Police said that “key thefts,” where a key is in the car or the car was already in service, rose 57 percent citywide this year, with 1,993 incidents compared to 1,268 in 2021.
Motorcycle thefts have also increased by 35 percent this year: 603 thefts in 2022 compared to 446 last year.
Top 5 Stolen Models in New York City in 2022
#1 Ford Econoline
#2 Honda Accord
#3 Honda CRV
#4 Honda Civic
#5 Toyota Camry