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Kids as Young as 12 are Stealing Cars in This Upstate New York Town

Syracuse, New York, is known for a couple of different things. Great college basketball, rowdy parties, and not much else of note. But recently, this cultural hub for Central New York has been embattled with a problem one would think is limited to just New York City.
Syracuse PD 16 photos
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That's right, a stark and disturbing rise in vehicle theft, much the same as in cities downstate, is plaguing the mostly blue-collar folks of Syracuse. Only this time, some of the statistics and figures are unexpectedly frightening. According to Syracuse.com, one of the city's online news outlets, spikes in vehicle theft and theft attempts rose as high as 26 percent as of June 6th, 2022, from the same period last year.

The most striking statistic of all, according to Syracuse police, is the rise in theft attempts of youths between the ages of 12 and 18. That's right, folks, 12 years old. This spike goes along with rises in grand theft auto-related crimes throughout New York State, as well as a total nationwide increase of 16.5% in 2021 compared to 2019 and nearly 29 percent compared to 2017.

New York alone has seen a spike in vehicle theft-related crimes as high as 58 percent in 2021 compared to 2019. A number of different factors contribute to this frankly sickening rise in vehicle theft. Many are directly attributed to the effects of the global health crisis.

But another portion of the blame can also be attributed in part to a profound shift in tactics. As the days of the old-fashioned smash and hotwire are largely over, thieves nowadays are opting for the high-tech approach. Using both computer software and hardware to spoof the same signal that most modern vehicles use in their key fobs to lock or unlock doors, use the radio, or even start up the engine. One thief was even caught using devices disguised as old-school Nintendo Game Boys to do the dirty deed in October of last year.

 
 
 
 
 

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