Though the NYPD has been cracking down on auto theft, Commissioner Kelly seemed to want to focus on entire cars. However, things like tires and car radios have been going missing at an alarming rate in Astoria, and locals are concerned about, you guessed it, the Bad Old Days. Ran Craycraft of whyleaveastoria.com told the Daily News, "A few weeks ago, I saw a car with the tires taken off up on cement blocks on 27th Street. I have never seen anything like that. It was like something you'd see in New York in the '70s."
According to recent statistics from the 114th Precinct, robbery is up 10% from last year, burglary is up 7% and grand larceny auto is up 18.9%. One 19-year-old said, "Two weeks ago, my car was on a jack and bricks with the tires gone. I'm scared to leave it on the street now, but I don't have a choice." Another Astoria resident told us his bike was stolen and his building was broken into within two weeks. City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) says increased reports of theft and graffiti are most likely because of decreased police presence on the street. "Spikes in smaller crime lead to spikes in violent crime," he said. "If criminals don't see any police on the street, they are going to take that as an open invitation to rob people."