Malliotakis, McMahon Request Help from US Attorneys to Stop Auto Thefts
Transnational Organized Crime Behind Surge
(STATEN ISLAND, NY) – Last week, Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) and Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon requested that the U.S. Attorneys for the Eastern District of New York, Southern District of New York, and the District of New Jersey establish a task force to assist to NYPD with the sharp rise in transnational grand theft auto crimes in New York City.
“Over the past year, there has been a drastic increase in stolen vehicles by transnational organized criminals,” Malliotakis and McMahon wrote. “This dangerous trend has resulted in vehicles being loaded onto ships at the Port of New York/Newark and sent abroad for resale, mostly to West Africa and the Dominican Republic, making them almost impossible to recover. Given that this criminal operation crosses state lines, we urge you to create a task force to investigate and prosecute the individuals and organizations involved.”
New York City has seen a 44 percent increase in auto grand larceny thefts over 2021, with 7,361 vehicles stolen citywide, and Staten Island seeing the largest percentage increase of all the boroughs. According to U.S. Customs and Border Control (CBP), as of April 115 stolen vehicles were recovered within New York City ports with approximately 74 stolen vehicles destined for various West African countries and 40 stolen vehicles headed for the Dominican Republic. These numbers are on pace to far exceed the 174 vehicles that were recovered in all of FY 2021.
The officials added: “It must be noted that the men and women of the NYPD are working tirelessly to prevent these thefts through robust community engagement and education, and to identify and apprehend those who are perpetrating these crimes. But the sheer amount of man hours it takes to investigate and solve even the most routine grand larceny auto crime is massive. We respectfully request your assistance in addressing this situation by mobilizing a task force to work in coordination with CBP, HSI, NYPD, and other federal agencies and local law enforcement involved to ensure that this trend does not continue and these transnational organized criminals will be brought to justice.”
Banner Image: Auto Theft. Image Credit – Bastian Pudill