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Suspected Grand Theft Auto Ring Targets Long Island’s Luxury Car Owners
New York's luxury car owners have seen an increase of incidents of grand theft auto.
Malverne, New York (PublicIntelPress)
A woman's luxury car was found abandoned in Newark, New Jersey just a few hours after being stolen from the victim's driveway around 4am on Friday morning.
Malverne, New York Police have already dismissed the the theory that a cab driver aided in the apparent targeted grand theft auto.
A cab driver, who picked up the woman for a flight the day before the car theft, was the last person who saw the car owner before she went on vacation.
The occupant of the residence and the neighbor both felt the inclination the lock their doors the night of the burglary, something which they almost never do.
There were 880,595 car thefts in 2020, an increase of 11.8% from the previous year, with the pandemic being a large factor in the observed spike.
A woman who had just left her Long Island home on vacation had her luxury car stolen from her driveway early on Friday morning. At around 4AM, a suspect succeeded in committing grand theft auto by driving the car over the neighbor’s lawn after finding the car open and the keys inside it.
The car was found just a few hours later in Newark, New Jersey, by a couple of beat cops on a routine patrol. The car was missing its GPS/computer system, and it is unknown yet if the catalytic converter or other car parts were taken. The thieves had driven the car over an hour away and abandoned it before the business day had even started.
Unbeknownst to the thieves, a family member of the owner was staying in the residence the evening of the theft and both she and her neighbor locked their doors the night of the burglary, something which is rarely done in the wealthy neighborhood in which they reside. Although their intuition was accurate, it was fortunately not necessary as the thieves did not attempt to break and enter into any houses.
According to Malverne police, car thefts are on the rise, with the perpetrators’ MO being: steal a car, drive it to New Jersey, pillage its valuable parts, and then ditch what remains of the vehicle. In March of 2021, “Operation Cat Burglar” identified suspects in a similar ring that stole cars from Essex, Union, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, and Bergen counties before likewise selling the valuable car parts.
A novel thieving technique that thieves have been using to steal locked cars is the usage of black market key fobs that are specific to a particular make and model. Another group made use of this tactic to steal cars directly from dealers in New Jersey.
One citizen researcher purported the idea that this particular grand theft auto ring works in collaboration with cab drivers.
In this case, the idea is that the cabbie who picked up the woman leaving for vacation on Friday notified the ring of the luxury car in the driveway and that the owner would be away. Once the thieves were tipped off about the address, they showed up around 330AM to burgle the vehicle.
Malverne police have already dismissed the taxi driver theory, despite the fact that it appears to be the best explanation for the targeted theft. No other vehicles or houses were targeted during the morning of the theft, which leads one to believe that the thieves knew the homeowner would be out of town and which house would presumably be empty.
A story like this comes as a reminder to always lock your doors, even in one of America’s safest and wealthiest communities.