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WNY Police urging drivers to not leave car running, car theft on the rise

“Car theft is still a high volume of calls that we deal with. In 2018, 2019, 2020 car thefts were on the rise, significantly 2019’ and 2020.”
Posted at 11:26 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-24 23:26:31-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Several police departments in Western New York alert drivers to not leave the car running to either warm it up or head to the store. It can be dangerous.

“Car theft is still a high volume of calls that we deal with. In 2018, 2019, 2020, car thefts were on the rise, significantly 19’ and 20,” says Deputy Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia of Buffalo Police. Last year we finally made some progress, car thefts were down to eight percent.”

Meanwhile, the West Seneca Police say they see more car thefts now than ever before.

Buffalo Police say having a remote starter can keep your car from being stolen.

“Cars today are all computerized, computer chip keys and even the key fobs,” Gramaglia says. “Cars can not be stolen like they were twenty years ago, and they’ll crack the steering column, so almost all of our cars being stolen are either because of they’re left running, or unattended or people leave the key fobs in their cars sometimes overnight.”

The Deputy Commissioner says a stolen car can also lead to other crimes.

“What has to be understood is when these cars are taken, there’s a decent amount of them that are used further in crimes and violent crimes. There have been individuals that used stolen cars for shootings, committing robberies and other crimes, so this has a domino effect, so there’s other things at play here.”

Buffalo Police say car theft can be a preventable crime, so they’re urging drivers to please not leave their car unattended even if they have to step out for a minute. Turn the car off, take the keys with you.