Nocturnal thieves stole three vehicles and burglarized seven others before dawn Wednesday in Saddle Brook.
And once again, a North Jersey law enforcement official – this time Saddle Brook Robert Kugler – is urging owners to lock their vehicles and not become a victim.
The crime spree occurred on two streets in the early-morning hours, Kugler said.
“These hoodlums look for easy prey -- and, unfortunately, found some here in Saddle Brook,” the chief said.
It’s happening everywhere: After being dropped off, packs of thieves prowl dark North Jersey neighborhoods while most vehicle owners are sleeping and test door handles. If a vehicle is locked, they keep moving. If it’s not, they get to work.
In Saddle Brook, a 2019 Nissan Pathfinder and a 2006 Dodge Charger were taken from Birk Street, while a 2017 Ford Explorer was taken from nearby Jamros Terrace, the chief said.
Birk Street feeds directly onto a Garden State Parkway entrance ramp. Jamros is on the other side of the highway.
Police also responded to seven reports of items taken from other vehicles in the same neighborhoods. Most involved loose change, Kugler said, although one victim lost $60.
None of the vehicles was broken into, the chief said, explaining that they apparently were unlocked, the chief said.
Some even had keys or key fobs left inside, he added.
The Nissan Pathfinder was recovered in Newark Wednesday afternoon.
“The lesson to be learned here is: Lock your car doors – and NEVER leave your keys or key fobs inside,” Kugler said. “Don’t become another victim.”
Police everywhere -- not just in Saddle Brook -- have gone from frustrated to angry that more and more motorists are basically inviting thieves to steal their vehicles.
No police department can be everywhere at all times, which makes owners' claims that police should prevent such crimes naive, at best.
Figuring the insurance will cover it doesn't take into account how that actually will affect the owner's rates -- especially when his or her carrier discovers the fob was left in an unlocked vehicle.
Equally mistaken is the idea that locks won't make a difference because thieves will try to break in, anyway -- nope, police say.
They ordinarily don't need to work more than a single block before finding an available ride. Then you or your neighbor's wheels are gone.
Anyone who believes that moving to a particular town better-protects them against vehicle thieves is a potential target.
The bandits actually prefer nicer neighborhoods specifically because there are trees, fences and other dividers between homes, fewer people are out and around -- and higher-end vehicles will be available.
As statistical and anecdotal evidence show, vehicle after vehicle are stolen from more affluent towns.
Police say those owners who don't have their vehicles stolen had the good sense to lock their cars, SUV, trucks and other means of transportation without leaving the fobs inside.
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