The latest NYPD crime data shows that stolen vehicle reports are up 51% in New York this year.
The NYPD said this year, 5,420 vehicles have been reported stolen — roughly 2,200 of them were cases where motorists left their cars with the engine running or unlocked, often with the keys or key fobs inside.
NYPD Deputy Inspector Robert LaPollo, who heads the NYPD’s Auto Crimes Unit, explained the increase of carnapping cases rose not because the owners are negligent but because the criminals are just too fast to act on the opportunity to steal.
“The criminals are just brazen” and more apt to take vehicles when the opportunity arises, LaPollo said.
LaPollo said that based on their study, most criminals stole cars to be used as getaway vehicles in their crimes and will just abandon them after using them.
“They’re used for transportation or to commit another crime, and then they’re done,” LaPollo said.
“They’re usually found locally from where they’re taken,” LaPollo added.
He said the most stolen vehicle in the city these days is the utilitarian Ford Econoline van, a favorite of laborers and other blue-collar workers.
He revealed this year, police have recorded 603 Econoline thefts.
Moreover, LaPollo said the others in the top 10 in 2021 and 2022 include several Honda models and the Nissan Altima and Toyota RAV 4.