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New York bill targets surge in car thefts with stricter bail conditions

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Responding to a sharp rise in car thefts, especially in cities across New York, a new legislative proposal has been put forth to strengthen the state’s stance against auto theft.


Introduced as the “Car Theft Prevention Act” by Senator Jeremy Cooney, the bill seeks to make the charge of criminal possession of stolen property an offense that could warrant bail, a deviation from the current norm where individuals charged with vehicle theft aren’t eligible for bail.

The urgency behind this bill is underscored by alarming statistics from Monroe County, which reported a 345% surge in car thefts just seven months into 2023. Rochester, in particular, experienced a staggering 829% increase.

Notably, Monroe and Erie counties combined represent two-thirds of all car break-ins across New York. This sudden spike is partly attributed to a TikTok challenge that highlighted a vulnerability in certain car models, predominantly Hyundai and Kia, making them easier targets for theft.