Westchester gets state grants to fight vehicle theft and insurance fraud

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ALBANY – More than $3.7 million in grant funding to fight against motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud was announced on Thursday. The grant awards will go to district attorneys’ offices and police departments in seven counties and New York City, the Fire Department of New York, as well as to two training organizations, all of which will work to enhance their efforts in reducing these crimes.
Westchester County will receive $450,000 to be shared by the District Attorney’s Office, $316,000 and Yonkers Police Department, $134,000
The selected agencies will continue their efforts to combat motor vehicle theft – which has been steadily declining in New York. Law enforcement reported 15,451 thefts in 2013, a 10 percent decrease from 2012 and a 62 percent decrease since 2003. They will also target suspected motor vehicle insurance fraud.

The 17 organizations and agencies will receive grants and use them in a variety of ways to combat fraud, including funding either all or a portion of the salaries of assistant district attorneys and investigators specifically assigned to handle motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud cases, pay overtime for enhanced enforcement and sting operations and offer specialized training for prosecutors, police officers and investigators. The funding cycle for the grants aligns with the calendar year.
 “This year, we required agencies that sought grants to detail greater collaboration at the county level to ensure that district attorneys’ offices and police departments were coordinating their efforts more closely,” Said Division of Criminal Justice Services Executive Deputy Commissioner Michael Green.