QUEENS, NY — Car thefts are continuing to rise in many parts of northern Queens, and, in many cases, drivers had left their keys in the ignition, police said.
More than 500 car thefts have been reported to the NYPD's Queens North Patrol Bureau so far this year, including about a hundred in the last four weeks, according to crime data updated Sunday.
About a third of the thefts reported this month happened after drivers left their keys inside the car, according to a tweet from the NYPD's 108th Precinct in Long Island City, which warned drivers not to keep their cars running or leave the keys inside.
The number of car thefts in northern Queens has gone up each month since the start of the coronavirus pandemic but has started to plateau, according to the data: There were 58 in March, 72 in April, 83 in May, 89 in June and 87 so far in July.
The Queens North Patrol Bureau includes police precincts in Long Island City, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Forest Hills, Middle Village, Flushing and Bayside.
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.
In the past 28 days we have had 93 vehs stolen in @NYPDQueensNorth of which 30 involved keys left in the veh’s. pic.twitter.com/986LhVGjuG
— NYPD 108th Precinct (@NYPD108Pct) July 27, 2020
There have been more than 3,000 car thefts citywide since the start of the year, of which 40 percent were nabbed because drivers forgot their keys inside or left the car running, according to the tweet from the NYPD's 108th Precinct.