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Nassau, Suffolk to get $700G to combat auto theft, insurance fraud

Law enforcement officials in Nassau and Suffolk will receive grants worth almost $700,000 this holiday season, part of a $3.7 million program to combat motor vehicle theft and insurance fraud, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Wednesday.

Nassau will get $260,000, to be shared by the district attorney’s office ($114,217) and the police department ($145,783). Suffolk will get $426,243, to be shared by the district attorney’s office ($293,010) and police ($133,233), the governor’s office said.

“Every year, New Yorkers pay millions in higher insurance premiums due to car theft and motor vehicle fraud,” Cuomo said in a statement, adding: “This funding will help ensure these thieves are caught, these crimes are prosecuted, and motorists no longer have to foot the bill for these crimes.”

The grants are to be funded through a $10 fee assessed on insurance policies issued for vehicles registered in the state.

These are among the other 26 organizations and agencies receiving grants:

New York Anti-Car Theft and Fraud Association, $62,000; New York State Prosecutors Institute, $38,800; Bronx County district attorney’s office, $321,918; Fire Department of New York, $124,800; Kings County district attorney’s office, $238,926; New York County district attorney’s office, $250,900; New York City Police Department, $299,000 to be shared by its Auto Crime Division, $199,000, and the Fraudulent Collision Investigation Unit, $100,000; Queens County district attorney’s office, $556,000; Richmond County district attorney’s office, $50,190; and Westchester County, $421,450 to be shared by the district attorney’s office, $288,500, and Yonkers Police Department, $132,950.

The state’s Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention program is overseen by a 12-member board and grants have been awarded annually since 1997.

“This program encourages police and prosecutors to work with one another in a concerted effort to reduce theft and fraud,” Division of Criminal Justice Services executive deputy commissioner Michael C. Green said. “Time and time again, this collaboration has proven to be an effective approach toward investigating these cases, but also as an effective deterrent for would-be fraudsters and thieves.”

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