In an effort to trace stolen vehicles, the New York Police Department will designate one patrol car in each of New York City’s 77 precincts as car theft continues to rise even as the rate of most other major crimes in the city is falling. Car thefts were up about 25 percent in August compared with the same month last year. Officials blamed the increase on TikTok videos showing in detail how to steal Kias and Hyundais, the models stolen in close to a fifth of the thefts. About half of those arrested in car thefts in the past year have been under 18, said Mayor Eric Adams, reports the New York Times. A sheriff’s deputy fatally shot two teenagers in Central New York state on Wednesday after they tried to run him over with a car they had stolen and then used while breaking into two smoke shops. The shooting, in the town of DeWitt, occurred about 10 hours after a group of six teenagers stole two cars — a Kia and a Hyundai, Sheriff Toby Shelley of Onondaga County said. The deputy who fired the fatal shots was responding to a call about suspicious activity involving the stolen cars, which had been linked to the overnight burglaries.
When the deputy arrived and began to approach the vehicles on foot, one drove off and the other drove directly at him, Shelley said. The deputy fired three shots at the car, which then drove away. When the car was found later, two teenagers were in it. One was dead, and efforts to keep the other alive were unsuccessful. Shelley, citing video footage filmed by a witness, said the encounter had “happened very quickly and hectically.” The deputy’s body-worn camera did not capture the shooting because “he most likely did not have time” to turn the device on, the sheriff said. “He had no options,” Shelley said of the deputy’s decision to fire at the car, adding that “the deputies have a right to defend themselves by whatever means necessary.” The deputy, whose name was not released, was placed on paid administrative leave for 72 hours. The victims’ names and ages were not released.