Even the NYPD’s own vehicles are not immune to the city’s auto theft surge. According to figures from the NYPD, there have been 8.627 auto thefts so far this year compared to 7.319 during the same period in 2022, an increase of 18.0%, even while other serious crimes have decreased.
The situation is considerably worse when you consider that the number of vehicle thefts increased by 150% between 2018 and 2022, from 5,428 to 13,750.
Even an unmarked NYPD cruiser was the target of thefts on Monday in Queens, according to police sources.
The key fob was left inside the department’s Ford Edge, which was being driven by a police boss, and was stolen in the 100th Precinct, according to authorities.
One report claimed that the burglar was “door surfing,” searching for open doors and keys left inside parked cars.
It was found some hours later in the Rockaways after being detected by a license-plate scanner. At least two police cars have been stolen this year, including The Edge.
On January 24, four carjackers lifted a black undercover KIA from outside the Bronx’s 45 Precinct Detective Bureau before wrecking it twelve hours later.
The TikTok challenge, which has received millions of views on the social media platform, calls on thieves to use a USB cord to bypass the ignition through the steering wheel column.
According to the police, this heist was motivated by this challenge. According to police sources, the department is prepared to present a new strategy for combating auto theft this week.
In the Bronx and North Queens, where thefts are most prevalent, the strategy will be tested first.
According to police sources, the NYPD intends to staff its car crime section with around 40 detectives.
The detective-level police officers known as “white-shield” investigators will speak with victims and search for video.
Full-fledged investigators will take them up and run with them if they can develop cases, according to the sources.
The city’s increase in auto thefts is “crazy,” according to recently retired NYPD Detective Thomas Burke, who spent more than 30 years investigating auto crime.
He asserted that he thinks auto theft will keep rising since it has a higher rate of return and less negative effects than other crimes.