Watch Out, Car Owners: Your Mirrors are in Danger

The Upper West Side experiences a wave of car theft

| 24 Jul 2022 | 06:14

Crime is rising in New York City, and car owners are among the victims. According to the NYPD, 2022 has had an overall 37.09% increase in crime since 2021. Part of this increase is a 39.2% increase in robbery, including the robbery of the side mirrors on cars.

On June 9, Jeanne Feltman parked her Jeep for the night on West 77th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. When she returned to it on June 10, her side view mirrors were gone. The same incident occurred again on July 7, when she parked her car on West 78th Street.

While the robberies were small and caused minimal damage to the car, they were very pricey. The thieves used a screwdriver to remove the car’s side view mirrors, unplugging them with no physical damage to the car, but cost Feltman hundreds of dollars in replacement fees.

Feltman is not alone in her struggles. When she brought her car to a Jeep dealer to be fixed, the dealer informed her that he had seen all makes of cars with the same problem. And on July 7, Feltman’s husband spoke to other car owners who had parked their cars on the same street and suffered the same fate.

On July 7, a man parked his car on the corner of West 80th Street and Amsterdam, according to the NYPD’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Public Information (DCPI). When he returned, his side mirror glass had been stolen. He reported the crime to the NYPD, who have not yet made any arrests in the case. “The investigation remains ongoing,” said a spokesperson for DCPI.

Steps to Take

The NYPD has published a series of steps people can take to make themselves less vulnerable to auto theft. The first and most important is to never leave keys in the ignition. That signals to car thieves that a robbery will be easy and unnoticed.

Additionally, closing a car’s windows and locking a car’s doors make theft more difficult. Careless behavior around cars is especially common in front of neighborhood stores, delis, coffee shops, or newspaper stands. “You may only be a ‘minute’ – but a minute is all a thief needs,” writes the NYPD. “Remain alert. Don’t create an opportunity.”

Of course, these steps are not foolproof and can still fail to stop a crime. If your car’s mirrors are stolen, make sure to report the theft to the NYPD, so that they can follow up and help prevent future thefts.

“You may only be a ‘minute’ – but a minute is all a thief needs.” From the NYPD