New York City: Why Old, Heavy Vehicles Are Spotted as Moneymakers
Car theft has become more rampant in New York City, thieves target old vehicles.
Coconut Creek, FL -- (SBWire) -- 04/14/2014 --New York City had been successful in lowering crime rates during the past two decades. A recent New York Times report cited that car thefts are becoming more rampant in the past few months. The oldest and heaviest cars are the usual target, specifically Ford Econoline vans.
Police point to a quirk in a state law which permits older vehicles to be sold with less paperwork. The law goes back three decades ago when thousands of vehicles were stolen each year in New York City and police precincts observed 20 cars disappear each week. Newer model cars were targeted and sold for value or broken down for parts. Older cars are usually abandoned at the time. The state no longer required the owner to have the car title for an individual seeking to junk a vehicle. MV-35 and MV-37 forms, also known as Department of Motor Vehicles forms, could substitute for a title.
Deputy Inspector Joseph Kenny, the commanding officer of the Police Department’s auto crimes division, stated that an old Dodge Caravan, for example, can be sold without a title by presenting only a form and a valid ID. He also mentioned, “it’s gotten to the point where it’s almost common knowledge. Perps find out the easy ways to make money.”
About 1,494 cars were stolen in the city through March 23 of this year, a 12 percent surge within the same time period during the previous year. There were 481 stolen cars reported to the police across the city in over a month period. About 70 percent of the vehicles were older than 8 years. Police officers deem many ended up sold to junk car shops. Newer vehicles, particularly luxury cars, come with secure technology which makes it nearly impossible to start with the keys. In this case, thieves aim for the keys or turn to carjacking.
Ford Econoline vans, commonly used by many businesses, are often found on scrap yards. The vehicles weigh more than 5,000 pounds and cost between $600 and $700 when sold. Police figures indicate that there were only 19 stolen vans reported last year at the same time.
At the same time this year, there were 51 stolen Econoline vans recorded.
The police department has started persuading policymakers to dump the current MV-35 form, pointing out that a replacement title can be obtained quickly. Kenny further explained, “we feel that it needs to be revised. We’ve found stolen cars going into pretty much every scrap yard in the city.”
A spokesman for the Department of Motor Vehicles claimed the issue “very rare.” He also approximated that it affected only one in 10,000 vehicles sent to junk yards. The representative also added that in those cases, the forms helped police investigation.
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