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Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced auto crimes continue to rise in the County at extremely high rates. Recent reports show widespread car thefts in residential areas including Scarsdale, where stolen vehicles have spiked by as much as 2000 percent over the same period from last year.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced auto crimes continue to rise in the County at extremely high rates. Recent reports show widespread car thefts in residential areas including Scarsdale, where stolen vehicles have spiked by as much as 2000 percent the same period from last year.According to Scarpino, every municipality in the County has reported at least one theft and other incidents. Statistics compiled by the District Attorney’s Office Westchester Intelligence Center from local law enforcement show a year-over-year increase of 60 percent through the end of August.

Scarpino said, “While we do know of groups of professional thieves from New Jersey stealing luxury vehicles and exporting them for the overseas black market, a majority of thefts in the suburbs are carried out mostly by teens and young people from Connecticut’s urban areas who are coming into Westchester, stealing cars which are left unlocked and with a fob/key left in the car. The theft is bad enough, but these vehicles are being used to commit other crimes and endangering the lives of others. Some have been involved in police pursuits resulting in accidents. If you leave your car unlocked, you are helping criminals and putting others in danger.”

In addition to the vehicle thefts, police are also seeing a rise in vehicle “grab-and-go” thefts, where thieves help themselves to valuables left in the car.

“We reminded residents earlier in the summer and we are doing it again. The numbers are staggering. As auto thefts and grab-and-go crimes continue to plague the County along with the pandemic, I urge residents to be careful to lock their vehicles. These are crimes of opportunity,” said DA Scarpino.

The District Attorney’s Auto Theft Unit and the Westchester County Intelligence Center are assisting local police and the National Insurance Crime Bureau, as well as law enforcement partners in Connecticut, in these investigations.

Comparative year-to-date statistics for the time period ending Aug. 31, 2020

  • Between Jan. 1 through Aug. 31, 2020, a total of 540 vehicles were stolen.
  • Between Jan. 1 through Aug. 31, 2019, a total of 338 vehicles were stolen.
  • The total number of vehicles stolen in 2019 were 519.

Outside of the four big cities, Rye, Scarsdale, Harrison, North Castle, Greenburgh have seen the largest number of stolen vehicles in 2020 year to date.

Police Jurisdiction
Rye - 23
Scarsdale - 21
Harrison -19
North Castle - 15
Greenburgh - 15

Communities with the largest increases in thefts this year so far are Scarsdale, Rye Brook, Sleepy Hollow, Town of Mamaroneck and Irvington.

Police Jurisdiction  2019  2020  Percent Increase 
 Scarsdale  1  21  2000
 Rye Brook  1  13  1200
 Sleepy Hollow  0  7  700
 Mamaroneck Town  0  6  600
 Irvington 0 4  400

Tips to keep your vehicle from being stolen or rifled through:

  • Never leave your key or key fob in the car
  • Never leave car running unattended
  • Never keep garage door openers in the car if it is not parked in a locked garage
  • Always lock the car doors
  • Always remove or hide all valuables
  • Always activate your alarm if you have one
  • Always close the car windows
  • Always park in a well-lit area at night if possible

Put a stop to auto theft

  • Spread the word.
  • Lock your car.
  • Take the fob and put it far enough away so it doesn’t work.
  • Set a phone alarm every night to remind you to lock up before calling it a night!

The DA’s Office has launched a social media campaign to combat thefts. See our social accounts and share on Facebook and Twitter. #WestchesterSafe