NYPD: Car theft on the rise citywide
The NYPD’s April report shows that grand larceny auto – or car theft – is driving crime up across the city.
The Bronx has seen a 25% increase in vehicles stolen compared to this time last year, the highest among the five boroughs.
Jennifer Rivera is one of the 1,721 Bronx residents who had their car stolen this year. When News 12 first spoke to Rivera about her 2019 Kia Sorento being stolen, a nearby business caught it on camera, and the car was found abandoned and destroyed days later.
Rivera believes her Kia was targeted due to a TikTok challenge that gave people instructions on how to start specific Kia and Hyundai models without the key through a manufacturing defect.
According to the NYPD, they began seeing a spike in car thefts last July when the trend took off on the social media app – 966 Hyundais and Kias have been stolen in New York City this year.
The companies are offering free software updates to help prevent this, but Rivera says she was never contacted.
Rivera is now in a new vehicle that has safety measures like GPS navigation she can monitor from her cellphone.
Mayor Adams and the NYPD are encouraging drivers to put Apple AirTags inside their vehicles as a preventative measure to track their cars if they’re stolen.