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Thieves Are Stealing, Cashing in on High-Tech Side Mirrors Found on Modern Cars

The mirrors bring a premium on the black market thanks to high-dollar safety tech housed inside.

For years, thieves have been finding ways to take parts off vehicles rather than stealing whole cars as a way to score some quick cash—stash ‘em and sell ‘em. Simple as that. In the 1980s and 1990s, it first began with jacking catalytic converters as they could be gutted for the precious metals that they house inside. Then in the late 1990s and early 2000s, thieves began ripping out xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps as they scored big money on the black market. Now, it seems they’re resorting to stealing side-view mirrors, according to the New York Post.

These parts are now subject to stealing because the mirrors house expensive sensory equipment to aid in-vehicle safety systems such as lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot detection.

According to the NYP report, the side-view mirrors can be resold on the black market for huge dollar amounts. Awareness surfaced when 19 reports came in within an eight-week period between March 1 and April 26. Of those 19 reports, 14 of them occurred on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Five others between March 9 and March 28 rang in from Riverside Drive. Although there’s no direct evidence suggesting it’s the same thieves, there’s reasonable evidence to suggest they’re related.

The mirrors being stolen are off of cars from the likes of Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, and Audi, according to the New York Police Department. When sold for cash, they can fetch as much as $1,500 to $2,000 per mirror.

“This is a local pattern in Manhattan North and does not appear to be a citywide condition,” a spokesperson for the NYPD told the New York Post.

As if wheel-thefts weren’t bad enough.