Recently, the Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) issued a public alert concerning an increase in stolen autos and vehicle break-ins. The thefts are occurring at all times of the day and night and more often than not, involve cars that have been left unlocked with a key FOB still in the vehicle. In some more modern vehicles, when key FOBs are left inside the car, the side-view mirrors remain out; when the FOB is removed from the car, the mirrors automatically fold inward. According to NCPD, the thieves seem to be looking for this sign as an indication of whether or not they can start your car and drive it away once they break into it.
In older vehicles, please be advised that catalytic converter thefts are on the rise also. The cost to replace a catalytic converter can be very expensive (ie., $1,000 or more). Experienced thieves have been crawling under cars and cutting the catalytic converter right out of them. This takes them less than two minutes to do.
While our NCPD officers are constantly on patrol, they urge the public to be vigilant by practicing the following safety tips to help safeguard your vehicle:
Car thefts are attractive to criminals because they are a lower risk crime. When a thief enters your unlocked car, rummages through your belongings, and leaves with nothing, it becomes nuisance criminal activity and is very difficult to effectively prosecute. However, if they are able to actually steal several vehicles in a particular neighborhood, that area will remain an attractive target that they will return to in anticipation of stealing even more.
Remember, if you “see something, say something.” Dial 9-1-1 and be ready to provide the police with as much information as possible regarding the description of the suspicious person or vehicle. License plate numbers are extremely valuable for the police if you can capture that information.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Laura M. SchaeferLegislator, District 14