ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – 18 News is investigating if vehicle break-ins are on the rise in the City of Elmira. We submitted a Freedom of Information request asking for all reported car break-ins and attempted car break-ins from the beginning of 2023. We also asked for a month-by-month breakdown. Elmira Police denied our request saying the “…record requested is not maintained. Reports generated from our records management system do not have capability to disaggregate data to include these specific type of reports.”

Lt. Yuri Charlanow told 18 News that means the database does not differentiate between car larcenies and any other larceny, which means theft of personal property. We then asked Lt. Charlanow for year-to-year comparisons on all reported larcenies in Elmira. Data shows all larcenies in Elmira are down year-to-year from 917 to 714. Data shows larcenies are also down so far in September when compared to the same time last year. Here is the information provided by Elmira PD:

2022 (through 9/25): 917

Sept 2022 (through 25th): 104

August 2022: 152

July 2022: 111

2023 (through 9/25): 714

Sept 2023 (through 9/25) – 87

August 2023: 100

July 2023: 90

Lt. Charlanow says many car break-ins happen because people leave their doors unlocked. He says many car owners also don’t report larcenies to police because they admit it was a mistake to leave their vehicle unlocked.

A homeowner sent 18 News home security video that shows two hooded men lurking into driveways on Thompson Street on Elmira’s Southside. You can see them checking car doors. The videos are from Sept. 9. The homeowner says his cars were locked, but a neighbor had $60 and sunglasses taken from his car. You can watch the full video below: