While New York City remains under lockdown orders from Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) due to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, major violent crime continues to soar.
Cuomo implemented stay-at-home orders on March 20 that effectively force the closure of most businesses, except those deemed “essential,” to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Even with the lockdown, major crime categories such as murder, burglary, and auto theft have spiked across New York City.
Over the last 28 days, in the middle of the lockdown, murders in New York City have jumped more than 55 percent compared to this same time last year, when there were no lockdown orders in place.
Between April 13 to April 19, murders increased 100 percent compared to the same week last year. From year-to-date, murders are up by 5.7 percent.
Likewise, grand larceny auto — a crime that no longer warrants bail in New York — has increased more than 53 percent compared to last year. Specifically, there have been 500 charges for auto theft in the last 28 days. During that same time in 2019, there were 326 charges for auto theft.
Over the last week, grand larceny auto crimes across the city have jumped 50.5 percent and they are up more than 62 percent overall since the year before — the largest spike in crime year-to-date for any major category.
The lockdown has also not stopped the rise of burglary in New York City — another crime that in many cases allows the suspect to be released from jail without ever paying bail.
Burglaries are up by 25 percent in the last 28 days and up by more than 36 percent in the last week. From January 1 to April 19, burglaries are up 27.1 percent compared to this same time last year.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told local media that burglary suspects are getting “released immediately” from jail due to existing bail laws.
Though other crimes — such as rape, felony assault, and grand larceny — have brought down the total number of major crimes committed in New York City during the lockdown by 32.6 percent, overall crime is still up 4.6 percent year-to-date.
The lockdown has dwindled the number of shootings and shooting victims in New York City but the overall year-to-date totals are still up. For instance, the number of shooting victims from January 1 to April 19 has increased 5.5 percent and total shootings have increased 4.1 percent compared to last year.
At the beginning of the year, Cuomo implemented bail reform laws that eliminated bail for suspects accused of second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular assault, third-degree assault, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, and about 100 other crimes.
Simultaneously, Cuomo has ordered the release of thousands of inmates across New York to ensure prisons are abiding by social distancing guidelines. The New York Post has reported that at least 50 of the 1,500 inmates released in New York City have been rearrested for crimes.