COVID-19 Days in NYC : Crime Drops, Auto Theft Still High Despite Being Below 52 Week Average

In these days of COVID-19 NYC Crime Drops except for Auto Theft which is still High despite Being Below the 52 week Median Average

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency for the city on March 12. The following day, President Trump’s travel ban on Europe would begin. Governor Cuomo’s lockdown for New York would commence on the evening of March 22. These details are mentioned for the sake illustrating how, over the length of ten days and beyond, the city’s pedestrian traffic, behavior and way of life would dramatically change. Thus, as one would expect, having an impact upon crimes committed.

For the following, 2020 statistics will be compared with 2019.

In the latest weekly data (March 23-29) amongst the seven major felony offenses (Murder, Rape, Robbery, Felony Assault, Burglary, Grand Larceny & Grand Larceny Auto) there’s been no increases in all except two. Burglary experienced a 2.5% rise and Auto Theft rose 38.6% with a total number of citywide cases of 97 for 2020 vs 70 for 2019. However, as pointed out farther along on this page, there was actually a decrease over the previous week.

Before going further, you’ll need to understand how those recent numbers are still below the 52 week median average from late March 2019 through to the end of March 2020. Regardless, they were still higher than those of the previous year.

Here’s one chart depicting the weekly occurrences of auto theft. It comes courtesy of the NYPD. It begins on the left hand side for a total of 70 auto thefts for the week ending with March 31, 2019 … Illustrates each week’s number … ending on the right with a total of 97 thefts for the week ending on March 29, 2020.

If one digs a little deeper the numbers reveal a more startling stat, particularly for two sections of the city. Brooklyn South experienced a 120% increase with a total of 22 thefts in 2020 vs 10 for 2019 during that seven day period. The Borough of the Bronx had a whopping 145% increase with 27 for 2020 vs 2019’s 11. But, that surprise ends there considering how from March 16 – 22, Brooklyn North, Manhattan North and Queens North reigned with instances of this crime.

Week of 3/23 – 3/29
2020 2019 % Increase
Citywide 97 70 38.6
(51% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Bronx 27 11 145.5
(66.7% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Brooklyn North 15 12 25
(140% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Brooklyn South 22 10 120
(11% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Manhattan North 7 5 40
(125% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Manhattan South 3 5 -40
(20% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Queens North 8 13 -38.5
(150% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Queens South 12 12 0
(10% for 3/16 – 3/22)
Staten Island 3 43 -11.6
(-100% for 3/16 – 3/22)

As you can see in the chart above, citywide grand auto theft went down from 51% to 38.6% from one week to the next. One can’t ignore the unusual way that the numbers change from one section to the next over the course of those two weeks. Looking at them one can see how unpredictable they are.

I’ll be following these numbers going forward as well as those for all other crimes. It would be interesting to see how they change on a week to week basis and how they might correlate with what’s happening in the city of New York. Millions are staying home, many streets are empty and yet, by the same token, our support systems are taking their blows as well from the Coronavirus.