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Mayor Adams and NYPD take on the grand theft auto surge in NYC

Mayor Eric Adams and NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban had a press conference on September 6th. They addressed a concerning issue amidst the city’s otherwise declining crime rates—grand theft auto, or car theft, which has surged by a staggering 18 percent. Felony assaults have also seen a more modest uptick of five percent. The data reveals a complex picture, with car thefts increasing by five percent in northern Manhattan, while the southern half experiences a decrease. Queens and the Bronx bear the brunt of this double-digit surge.

The root of the problem? A national TikTok craze, as pointed out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration back in February, has triggered a wave of car thefts, with Kia and Hyundai vehicles being the primary targets. This trend shows no signs of slowing down, and as reported by NBC New York, the majority of stolen cars in the city belong to these two manufacturers.

Mayor Adams unveiled a citywide response in the form of a “comprehensive plan.” This initiative begins with a significant ramp-up of license-scanning technology by the NYPD. This involves deploying 24/7 patrol cars explicitly tasked with monitoring stolen license plates. Furthermore, the NYPD will establish specialized positions for officers solely focused on analyzing car theft data.

As Caban emphasized, “As with everything we do, there will be technology involved. This includes a vast digital network of license plate readers that will help officers pinpoint and track stolen vehicles.” The NYPD asserts that this system will provide real-time data, enabling a more efficient response.

However, there’s a human aspect to this issue that cannot be ignored. Mayor Adams highlighted a concerning fact—over 51 percent of those arrested for car theft are minors. Often, they’re driven by the allure of addictive apps like TikTok or the desire to impress their peers. To address this, he outlined an outreach campaign designed as an alternative to incarceration. “We’re working with violence interrupters, schools, and administrators to reach out to individuals–especially young people,” Mayor Adams asserted.

In a heartfelt appeal, Mayor Adams shared some practical tips with his fellow New Yorkers: “Car theft is a crime of opportunity. There are some easy things all of us can do to prevent theft. It may sound simple, but don’t forget to lock your door.” He also warned against the practice of leaving the engine running when stepping out of your vehicle, as it’s an open invitation to thieves.

Amidst the relentless heatwave, Mayor Adams and the NYPD are equally determined to combat the rising tide of auto thefts, sending a resounding message that New Yorkers’ safety remains their top priority.


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