DMV Issues Warning that Car Thefts have Surged in 2021

DMV Issues Warning that Car Thefts have Surged in 2021

    The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles today reported an alarming rise in New York City and across the state in vehicle thefts, which are usually most frequent in the summer months in any case.

     In the first six months of 2021, 4,473 vehicles were stolen in the five boroughs, compared with 3,580 complaints from January to June in 2020, according to the NYPD.

     In addition, from January to June of this year, 985 motorcycles were reported stolen, compared with 604 thefts in 2020.

     Some thieves steal only auto parts that can be resold as is, or for scrap metal, the DMV warned.

     For instance, the NYPD revealed a 572% rise in the thefts of catalytic converters, which are exhaust emission control devices that contain precious metals, such as like platinum, palladium, and rhodium, that can be sold to scrap yards for up to $200.

     While only 32 catalytic converters, which convert toxic gases and pollutants into less-toxic pollutants, were stolen in New York City in 2020, that number spiked to 215 so far this year, which is only half-way complete.

     “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.”

     Other tips the DMV offers to reduce your risk of car theft are the following:

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.

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