With more New Yorkers back behind the wheel, carjackers are putting the pedal to the metal.
The number of carjackings as of Sept. 19 are up 81 percent, with 324 reported so far this year, compared to 179 in the same 2020 timeframe. The number is a whopping 277 percent spike from 2019, when NYPD data showed just 86 such incidents.
A recent carjacking caught on video shows just how violent such incidents can be.
A man behind the wheel of a BMW 328i, which can retail for well north of $30,000, was yanked out of his ride and punched twice in the face by a gang of motorcycle-riding robbers at gunpoint on Sept. 12 in Inwood, cops said.
The chilling 2:30 a.m. heist, on Riverside Drive near Henshaw Street, left the driver, 23, with a broken nose. The gang took off with his luxe car and his necklace, police said.
The carjackers don’t just prey on pricey wheels.
On the night of March 29, car bandits descended on a 26-year-old driving a 2010 Honda on a busy Brooklyn street, according to cops and surveillance video.
Two thieves approached the driver as he sat in the parked car in Clinton Hill, asked for the time then flashed a knife and ordered the motorist and a pal out. Once they did, two other vehicle vultures emerged and all four took off in the stolen vehicle, cops said.
In June, a pair of Hell’s Kitchen carjackers drove off in an SUV with two women inside — and dragged another woman who was standing outside the car for several feet. The three women, all in their 30s, had left a silver 2013 GMC Acadia parked but still running at 10th Avenue and West 42nd Street around 11:25 p.m. June 16, cops said.
And in an episode out of a parent’s worst nightmare, a man from New Hampshire was charged with stealing a car with a 2-year-old girl inside in Brooklyn. Tyler Hall, 33, was hit with a slew of charges in the harrowing July 2 incident, including robbery, vehicular assault, grand larceny, reckless endangerment, unauthorized use of a vehicle, unlawful imprisonment and acting in a manner injurious to a child. The girl was unharmed.
“It’s opportunists taking advantage of a low-risk high-reward crime with little or no consequences,” said Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former NYPD sergeant.
“The perpetrators know that the police can rarely chase and this emboldens them even more. If they are even caught, no bail. It’s a win-win for the bad guys,” he added.
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