Number of Stolen Vehicles Rises in Coronavirus Crisis
The coronavirus health crisis has not been kind to car owners in the United States.
With many Americans staying at home, their cars are left unattended on the streets. These vehicles then become easy targets for thieves.
Vehicle property thefts jumped 63 percent in New York, and nearly 17 percent in Los Angeles, from January 1 through the middle of May 2020. Those increases are in comparison to the same period last year.
Across the country, many law enforcement agencies are reporting an increase in stolen cars and vehicle burglaries, even as violent crime has dropped.
Police use the term vehicle burglary when talking about when someone breaks into a car to steal objects from it.
Car thefts and vehicle burglaries are low-risk crimes with a possible high reward, police say, especially when many drivers leave car doors unlocked or their keys inside.
"You might as well put a sticker on the window that says, ‘come take my stuff,'" said Alex Villanueva, the Los Angeles County sheriff.
In Austin, Texas last month, police found that 72 percent of stolen vehicles had their keys nearby. Austin's total number of auto thefts last month rose about 50 percent and burglaries to vehicles were up two percent from April 2019.
The public health crisis has created a "perfect storm," said Austin police Sargeant Chris Vetrano. Vetrano leads the auto theft force that investigates stolen vehicle cases.
There are reasons for that storm. Drivers are at home and not using their cars very often. Schools are closed, and some young people are doing bad things. Criminals are out of work and have more free time or need money to buy drugs or other things.
Vetrano told The Associated Press that the internet has, in some ways, made things easy for criminals.
"You can get on the internet nowadays and learn how to break into vehicles just searching YouTube," he said.
About a year ago, someone broke into Vetrano's Ford F-150 truck, one of the vehicles most commonly stolen in the United States.
Police Detective Greg Wilking of Salt Lake City, Utah, said a 22 percent increase in vehicle burglaries could be from a few criminals working quickly.
"It's really 10 seconds," he said. "They're not spending a lot of time in your car. It's a smash-and-grab-and-go," sometimes during the day.
Wilking worries the numbers will keep rising because "people get more desperate as time goes on."
However, in some areas, the coronavirus crisis has helped reduce crime.
In Baltimore, Maryland, thefts from cars fell 24 percent, and stolen vehicles dropped 19 percent, from January to May. The decrease is in comparison to numbers from the same period last year.
Colonel Richard Worley, the chief of patrol, gives some of the credit to aggressive efforts to warn car owners to lock their vehicles and take their keys home. Owners also have been told to leave their cars in well-lit areas.
In addition, more people are staying home and keeping an eye on the streets. Because calls for service and violent crime have decreased, police officers now have time for patrolling neighborhoods.
It is easy to forget simple things – even for people who know better. Lindsey Eldridge, of the police department's community outreach office, left her keys in her car. She realized her mistake just before falling asleep.
As Worley said: "She could have been a statistic."
I'm John Russell.
Official statistics show real wages declining by 24%.
The city police set up roadblocks to check passing vehicles.
I clearly empathize with the people who live in those neighborhoods
The study is well-lit.
5.Criminals are out of work and have more free time or need money to buy drugs or other things.
out of work 失业
He was out of work when the factory closed.
He was out of work owing to a physical injury
6."You can get on the internet nowadays and learn how to break into vehicles just searching YouTube," he said.
break into 闯入
There was no one nearby who might see him trying to break into the house
In this country a house is broken into every 24 seconds.
由于许多美国人呆在家里，自家汽车停放在街道上无人看管 。这些车辆很容易成为小偷的目标 。
从2020年1月1日到5月中旬，纽约汽车失窃案增加了63%，洛杉矶汽车被盗案增加了近17% 。这些增长是与去年同期相比得出的数据 。
洛杉矶县警长亚历克斯·维拉纽瓦(Alex Villanueva)警告称，“此举就像是在车窗上贴告示，‘快来偷东西呀’” 。
上个月，在德克萨斯州的奥斯汀市，警方发现，72%的被盗车辆的钥匙在附近 。上个月，奥斯汀的偷盗汽车案增加了大约50%，汽车盗窃案比2019年4月增加了2% 。
这场公共卫生危机已经酝酿成一场“完美风暴”，奥斯汀警察局长克里斯·维特拉诺说道 。维特拉诺是汽车失窃案调查组的负责人 。
这场风暴的成因有几项 。车主们都呆在家里，不经常开车 。学校关闭，一些年轻人胡作非为 。罪犯没有工作，有更多的作案时间，或者需要钱买毒品或其他物品 。
他说，“真的只要10秒钟” 。“他们不会在车内耗费太长时间 。这是一种“开了就拿，拿了就走”的作案手法，有时候甚至会白天作案 。
在马里兰州的巴尔的摩，从1月到5月，汽车盗窃案减少了24%，汽车被盗案减少了19% 。这一下降是与去年同期相比得出的 。
巡逻队长理查德·沃利(Richard Worley)上校认为，一定程度上，这要归功于政府积极地警告车主锁好车，随身携带钥匙 。车主们还被告知要将汽车停放在光线充足的地方 。
此外，更多的人呆在家里，可以密切注意着街道 。由于服务需求和暴力犯罪活动的减少，警察现在有时间巡逻社区 。
人们很容易忘记一些琐碎的事情——即使经验丰富的人也不例外 。警察局社区拓展办公室的林赛·埃尔德里奇(Lindsey Eldridge)就把钥匙忘在了车里 。她在睡觉前才意识到自己的错误 。