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New York City is the “City that Never Sleeps,” which includes its criminal base. This year, car theft is soaring in the city with no end in sight. All five boroughs report significant increases in stolen vehicles this year, creating a serious problem for car owners and police officers. How bad is the problem in NYC?

What kind of car theft numbers is NYC facing?

Thieves in NYC are taking more cars than ever before. Find out why there's sudden sure in stolen vehicles.
Car Theft in Progress | Shutterstock

Stolen vehicle numbers have increased 61% in NYC so far this year, as reported by the New York Post. This is an extremely serious problem, and no area of this city is immune to the problem.

The total numbers show 4,467 cars stolen so far this year compared to 2,769 during the same time in 2021. This particular category is up 97 percent compared to 2020 when the city was mostly shut down during the pandemic.

The numbers break down as follows:

  • Bronx – 1437 stolen vehicles this year, 845 in 2021 (70% increase)
  • Brooklyn – 1,183 stolen vehicles this year, 806 in 2021 (47% increase)
  • Queens – 1,107 stolen vehicles this year, 678 in 2021 (63% increase)
  • Manhattan – 604 stolen vehicles this year, 373 in 2021 (62% increase)
  • Staten Island – 136 stolen vehicles this year, 67 in 2021( 103% increase)

Where do most stolen cars end up?

Stripped Cars Outside a Chop Shop. Are these cars part of a car theft ring?
Stripped Cars Outside a Chop Shop | Shutterstock

The entirety of NYC has become a hot zone for car thieves to operate. Thieves steal these cars for a couple of reasons. Many stolen luxury vehicles get shipped overseas within hours. Most stolen cars aren’t luxury models but are either driven by thieves or taken to chop shops. Mechanics strip the stolen vehicles for parts.

CarFax tells us, that mechanics at these shops discard any part with the VIN on it, but they can sell the rest of the parts for a profit.

What are the hot vehicles in NYC?

The 2022 Honda CR-V is one of the fastest-selling new cars in the market.
2022 Honda CR-V | Honda

The most stolen vehicles in the largest city in the world are:

  • Ford Econoline
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Civic
  • Toyota Camry

Why are three of the top five stolen cars from Honda?

Catalytic converters are the hot part of Honda vehicles

The placement of catalytic converters in Honda vehicles makes it extremely easy to remove and steal. This item is part of the car’s exhaust system, and it contains rare metals that sell for large sums on the black market. Converters typically contain three to seven grams of rhodium, palladium, and platinum, which makes this part of the car desirable for the sticky-finger crowd.

What factors contribute to this increase in stolen vehicles?

Person Attempting to Steal a Car. has the lack of deterrence contributed to increased stolen vehicle numbers in NYC?
Person Attempting to Steal a Car | Shutterstock

A recent state bail reform overhaul program contributes directly to the spike in vehicle theft. This reform program began in 2020, prohibiting pretrial detention in many crimes. Additionally, a Grand Larceny Auto charge amounts to nothing more than a desk appearance ticket which quickly puts the criminal back on the street.

The recent lack of deterrence creates an environment where criminals are bolder and don’t fear the consequences they might have previously.

“Deterrence matters in reducing crime, and right now there is none – it’s that simple.”

Joseph Giacalone, adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former NYPD sergeant

Are car owners to blame for some car thefts in NYC?

Vehicle thefts where the keys are present in the vehicle, or it was already running when stolen is up 57% around NYC. These thefts account for 1,993 vehicles compared to 1,268 stolen in 2021. Even though many might think that residents of a large city would take more precautions and not leave their vehicles running, it’s happening a lot more often than it should.

Are you planning a trip to NYC? You might want to park outside of the city or use public transportation rather than risk becoming a victim of car theft.

What can you do if thieves take your car? Check out the next article and find out.


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