Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a series of targeted actions to combat the high number of car thefts, particularly of certain Kia and Hyundai model vehicles, in counties across New York State called the Comprehensive Auto-Theft Reduction Strategy, also known as CARS.
These actions include fast-tracking $50 million for law enforcement technology and equipment, and $5 million to enhance youth justice alternatives and diversion programming for teenagers and young adults. The measures will also direct the State Police and Division of Criminal Justice Services to implement new enforcement efforts, support local district attorneys in the prosecution of car thefts and other crimes, and launch a public engagement campaign targeting vulnerable car owners.
Car thefts have continued to rise in the state, initially driven by the rise in catalytic converter thefts and later by viral social media posts showing young people how to steal Kias and Hyundais.