New York City car thieves have shifted into high gear, with auto thefts soaring 61% so far this year, according to the latest disturbing statistics.
There have been 4,467 car thefts so far in 2022, as compared to 2,769 in the same time period in 2021. The crime category has jumped a whopping 97 percent compared to 2020, NYPD data show.
The Ford Econoline is the preferred vehicle of the sticky-fingered set, followed by the Honda Accord, Honda CRV, Honda Civic and Toyota Camry, according to the NYPD.
Bronx motorists have been hit the hardest: 1,437 vehicles have been boosted so far this year in the borough, the most in the city, and a 70% spike from the same time last year, when 845 cars were stolen, the stats show.
In Brooklyn 1,183 vehicles have been ripped off in 2022, compared to 806 in 2021, a 47% surge.
Auto larceny in Queens is up 63% in 2022, with 1,107 incidents to 678 the year prior, and has jumped 62 percent in Manhattan, which saw 604 thefts to 2021’s 373 incidents, the data shows.
Even Staten Island, the so-called “cop borough,” isn’t safe. While The Rock has logged the fewest car thefts in the city this year which 136, that number is deceiving — it’s a 103 percent increase from the 67 vehicles snatched last year.
The Island “has become a hot spot for car-theft crews — some of which operate out of New Jersey — to snatch luxury vehicles and ship them overseas within hours,” the Staten Island Advance reported following a sitdown with the borough’s top cop.
Hondas drive auto thieves gaga because the catalytic converters can be removed in minutes.
Catalytic converters, part of a car’s exhaust system, break down some of the smog that would otherwise come out the tailpipe.
They also include rare metals like rhodium, palladium and platinum, which trade for four and five figures per ounce on the black market. Converters typically include 3 to 7 grams of these precious metals, experts said.
The NYPD has blamed the state’s bail reform overhaul in part, for the spike. The law, which kicked in Jan. 1, 2020, prohibits pretrial detention in most misdemeanors and some nonviolent felonies.
A Grand Larceny Auto charge merits only a desk appearance ticket under the state’s bail reform law — so bad guys collared by cops for stealing a $35,000 Ford Econoline are back on the street in a New York Minute.
“We used to call a desk appearance ticket a disappearance ticket,” said Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD sergeant. “Deterrence matters in reducing crime and right now there is none — it’s that simple.”
Cops say cocky criminals who use the stolen rides to get around, and careless drivers, have fueled the surge.
To that, the NYPD said “key thefts,” where a key is present in a vehicle or the vehicle is already running, are up 57 percent citywide this year, with 1,993 incidents compared to 1,268 in 2021.
Motorcycle thefts have also zoomed 35 percent this year: 603 thefts in 2022 from last year’s 446.
Top 5 Stolen Models in NYC in 2022
#1 Ford Ecoline
#2 Honda Civic
#3 Honda CRV
#4 Honda Civic
#5 Toyota Camry