The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles issued a warning Tuesday about a rise in vehicle thefts in New York City and across the state, along with some tips to help people keep their vehicles from getting jacked.
Motorcycle thefts rose 63% in New York City in 2021 when compared to the same time period a year ago, while criminal complaints of grand larceny auto rose 25%, the DMV said. Statewide, vehicle thefts increased 54% from 2019 to 2020.
According to the NYPD, there were 4,473 stolen vehicle complaints in the five boroughs from January through June compared to 3,580 complaints during the same period in 2020. There were also 985 motorcycle thefts during that time compared to 604 thefts in 2020.
Auto parts are also being taken at an alarming rate, the DMV warned. There was a 572 percent rise in catalytic converter thefts in New York City from 32 stolen in 2020 to 215 stolen this year, officials said.
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Vehicle thefts are highest in the summer season, according to the DMV, which means people will want to take additional protections for the next two months.
The DMV has some tips for how you can reduce your risk:
- Don't leave your vehicle title in your car
- Keep your vehicle locked
- Don't leave your keys in the car when it is parked
- Never leave your car running unattended
- Avoid leaving valuables inside your vehicle where passersby can see them
“Leaving your key fob in the vehicle or leaving it running while you run into your home or the store are two of the most common factors in vehicle thefts,” DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said. “Don’t make your car an easy target. I urge you to be cautious and always make sure your vehicle is locked and not left running, even for a minute, and never leave your vehicle title or valuables in the car.”