Top cop: Auto thefts on the rise, and we’re fighting back

Police are battling a rash of car thefts on the streets of East Flatbush.

And Deputy. Inspector Corey Pegues says he’s doing everything he can to stop thieves in their tracks — literally.

“We’re doing checkpoints all over and at different hours of the day making sure people have the proper paperwork,” said Pegues, the commanding officer of the 67th Precinct. “It might cause a little inconvenience, but we have to do it.”

Auto thefts have nearly doubled since last year, with 80 this year compared to 52 at this point in 2009.

“Last year we only averaged about four GLA (grand larceny autos) a week,” said Pegues, “Last week alone we had eight.”

Pegues said the cars of choice are late-model Nissan Maximas, Toyota Camrys and Ford Econolines (yes, that’s a van!).

Pegues pointed out there are no particular hot spots within the precinct prone to car thefts.

“It’s pretty much all over,” he said. “When you look at the map with pins of where cars are being stolen, it looks like buckshot.”

The commanding officer said he’s team is following in some leads, and hopes to have some criminals off the streets soon.

“It’s probably a couple of career people that have come home and we’re looking at them,” he said.

In the meantime, Pegues recommended that people make sure to lock their car and advised them to get an alarm. If at all possible park in a well-lit place, he said.

“Also if you see someone suspicious on your block, particularly if they carrying a duffle bag, which might hold tools, call the precinct at (718) 287-3211,” he said.