Police Release Stolen Car ‘Hit List’
Police officials at the 114th Precinct last week released a list of the top three vehicles sought by car thieves in the Astoria and Long Island City communities.
First on the list is the Honda Civic (mid-90s models), second is the Toyota Corolla (mid-90s models) and third is the Dodge Caravan (1991-1999), Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Paul E. Vorbeck told the Gazette.
Vorbeck said auto larcenies have dropped substantially in the 114th Precinct area since this time last year. But when car thieves strike, they search out the listed vehicles for the street resale value of their parts, Vorbeck said.
Police are urging area residents to park all vehicles in well-lit spaces, to have properly working alarms in their vehicles and to park vehicles in locked garages, if possible.
Vorbeck also strongly urged area residents to call 911 if they spot suspicious persons or activity near their vehicle or those of their neighbors.
“If you see suspicious activity or an unknown individual in, or near your vehicle, call 911 immediately and tell the operator what you are observing,” Vorbeck said. “DO NOT, under any circumstances, approach or confront these individuals, they are dangerous and may be armed.”
Vorbeck urged vehicle owners to think before they act. “Wait for police officers to arrive and confront the individuals. It’s not worth risking serious injury, or your life, to go after these people on your own.”
Motorists are also urged to register their vehicle(s) in the 114th Precinct NYPD Vehicle Identification (VIN Etch) Program. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is etched on a vehicle’s window glass to make identification easier and frustrate thieves who sell the windows they remove from a stolen car. Some insurance companies offer rebates to car owners who join in a VIN-etching program.
For information on the free VIN-etch program, call the 114th Precinct Crime Prevention Unit at 718- 626-9324.–Liz Goff