Strategic drivers in the Big Apple will tell you to park in well-lit and busy areas to deter break-ins. But which neighborhoods are really the safest and which are the most risky?

According to NYPD data, the number of reported car break-ins totaled 20,832 in 2017. While the decrease of break-ins over the past 5 years is good news for New Yorkers (Figure 1), the number is still at figures comparable to San Francisco, which we wrote about recently (The Worst Parking Spots in SF for Car Break-ins).

Figure 1 – number of reported car break-ins over the past 5 years


The Big Picture

We took a look at the raw data borough by borough and here is what we found:

Figure 2 – reported car break-ins per neighborhood (2017)


How Safe is My Neighborhood to Park In?

If you live in a neighborhood in Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx or Queens, we have some unique insights to share with you.


If we look at the raw number of break-ins in Manhattan, your car is worst-off in Harlem. 17% of the borough’s break-ins in 2017 were there. But according to our analysis, the area of Manhattan with the highest ratio of break-ins to available parking spots is East Harlem.

At SpotAngels we map and count all the street parking spots in the cities we cover, including in New York City. We know that compared to other neighborhoods, Harlem also has a lot of parking spots: 3.8 times the borough average. This means it might have so many break-ins just because there’s so much more parking there.

But if we calculate the annual rate of break-ins per parking spot in each of these neighborhoods, we can correct for neighborhood size. When we do, we find that East Harlem tops the list, with 2.2 break-ins per 100 parking spots.

If you drive, live, or work in any of the neighborhoods at the top of the list below: watch out. In East Harlem, Central Park, Washington Heights and Morningside Heights, the ratio of break-ins to 100 spots was twice the average of the borough.

Figure 3 – ratio of reported break-ins to parking spots in Manhattan (2017)


Similarly in Brooklyn, the raw data shows that East New York has the most break-ins. However, according to our calculations, your car is worst off in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens which has 2 times the borough average when it comes to ratio of break-ins to available parking spots. Also, what may be shocking to many, is that Williamsburg, one of the trendiest and most gentrified neighborhoods in Brooklyn ranks higher for break-ins than Bed Stuy and even Flatbush.

Figure 4 – ratio of reported break-ins to parking spots in Brooklyn (2017)

The Bronx

The Bronx has as many break-ins as Brooklyn with nearly half the population. We found that the average ratio of break-ins to available parking spots there is nearly 3 times higher than in Brooklyn or Manhattan.

Your car is worst off in Van Cortlandt Park which has a low number of break-ins, but when you also know it has limited parking spaces the number is actually very high.

Figure 5 – ratio of reported break-ins to parking spots in The Bronx (2017)


The largest of the boroughs has the lowest average ratio of break-ins to available parking spots.

In Queens, your car is worst off in Flushing Meadows Corona Park which has 5 times the average ratio of the borough with 3.3 break-ins to 100 parking spots. That is still roughly 4 times lower than the worst neighborhood in The Bronx for example.

Figure 6 – ratio of reported break-ins to parking spots in Queens (2017)


The 10 Worst Blocks for Car Break-ins in NYC

500-600 Gateway Drive in Brooklyn is the worst block for car break-ins in NYC with 34 reported break-ins just on this block.

In 4th position, we find the worst block of The Bronx – 4000 Jerome Avenue – which is not surprisingly in Van Cortlandt Park. It’s also the worst neighborhood of that borough.

Figure 7 – the 10 worst blocks in NYC for car break-ins (2017)

SpotAngels is an app that helps you find safe spots to park and avoid parking tickets. We blog about our parking-related research, including about tickets and break-ins.Try the free SpotAngels app available on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

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