July 29, 2020, By Michael Dorgan
Vehicle thefts are on the rise in northern Queens and drivers are making it easy for criminals.
The number of reported vehicle thefts in the eight precincts that make up Queens North has jumped by 32 percent this year, according to official police data. Queens North consists of the 104th, 108th 109th, 110th, 111th, 112th, and 114th and 115th precincts.
There were 513 cases of Grand Larceny Auto reported in Queens North from Jan. 1 through July 19, compared to 388 for the same period last year, according to NYPD data. GLA is the theft of a vehicle, including cars, motorcycles and trucks.
The statistics match a citywide spike in vehicle thefts. For example, there were 3,988 cases of GLA reported in the city from Jan. 1 through July 19 compared to 2,494 for the same period last year, according to NYPD data.
A large portion of car thefts across the city, 40 percent, occurred after drivers left their keys in the ignition or left their cars running, according to a tweet put out by the 108th precinct Monday.
There have been 3,231 car thefts this year and an extraordinary 1,288 (40%) of them were taken because the keys were in the vehicle or the vehicle was left running.
— NYPD 108th Precinct (@NYPD108Pct) July 27, 2020
The 108th precinct said that 93 vehicles were stolen in Queens North in the past month, 30 of which occurred after drivers left keys in their cars.
Cops are appealing to drivers to be vigilant and take precautions when they leave their vehicles unattended. The NYPD has asked drivers to make sure that they turn off their vehicle’s engine, remove the keys and make sure that all doors are locked.
— NYPD 111th Precinct (@NYPD111Pct) July 28, 2020
The increase in vehicle thefts mirrors burglary trends in Queens North which are up 42.5 percent this year, according to NYPD data.
There were 928 burglaries reported in the district from Jan. 1 through July 19 compared to 651 for the same period last year.
Felony assaults are up by 3.6 percent for the same period this year in Queens North while robberies are up by 6.7 percent. There have been 18 murders this year compared to 17 for the same period last year.
However, rape cases for the district are down by 35.7 percent while grand larceny is down by 17.5 percent for the year.