Over 140 cars have been stolen in Niagara County in the last 12 months, the vast majority being in Niagara Falls. Detective Lt. John Conti of the Niagara Falls Police Department says it's because car owners are leaving their doors open or their keys out in the open.
“Somebody leaves their car running, goes into the convenient store and within seconds somebody’s just walking right down the street sees the car running they jump in and steal it, it’s that quick," Conti says. “Providing the wrong opportunity to the wrong person in the wrong place, they’re going to steal a car.”
Niagara County District Attorney, Caroline Wojtaszek and Assistant District Attorney Joel Grundy retrieved these statistics:
Car Thefts Last 12 Months:
Total Vehicles Stolen:
Niagara Falls: 134
Niagara County: 15
Total Vehicles Recovered:
Niagara Falls: 122
Niagara County: 13
How they were stolen:
Keys left in the car/car left running: 55 percent
Drug involved/loaned out to dealers: 18 percent
Related to other crimes (Burglary, Robbery, Larceny): 15 percent
Other: 12 percent
"Thieves tell us all the time by way of their statements, the they go up and down the street and the person who gets their car stolen or broken into is the person who left their door open or left their keys in the car,” Wojtaszek says.