PARKCHESTER, the Bronx — Car thefts are up drastically not only citywide, but across New York State, while an alarming number of car parts are also being stolen.
Ashraf Ali lives in the Parkchester section of the Bronx, and he’s in shock after his new car that he bought in May went missing only one month later.
“Exactly where this open spot is, is where I parked my car that night,” Ashraf said as he pointed to an empty parking spot on Leland Avenue.
“I went all around my block, all around that block. It wasn’t anywhere to be found,” Ashraf added. “I couldn’t believe that my entire car had been stolen. A brand-new, 2021 Accord just gone.”
His story isn’t unique. NYPD statistics show stolen vehicle complaints citywide from January to June of this year are at 4,473.
That’s up from 3,580 complaints for the same time last year.
DMV data shows vehicle thefts statewide are up too, at 54%. Stolen car parts are at the highest spike. Ashraf’s brother Akshad knows firsthand.
“They stole this catalytic converter from my vehicle,” Akshad said, holding a new part.
“You’re cutting open and stealing people’s stuff? Do you think this is right?” Akshad asks. “I don’t think so. They literally cut open from the bottom and took the parts. They’re doing it to too many people’s cars.”
There were only 32 reports of catalytic converter thefts in 2020. So far this year, 215 have been reported stolen. That’s a 572% increase.
Ashraf and Akshad said they know police have their hands tied, but are calling for more action.
“This city is becoming uninhabitable,” Akshad said. “People cannot live here.”
They say if things don’t change, they plan to move.