A Bergenfield man stole three different vehicles from the same neighborhood – all of which had been left running with the keys inside – to get him to and from Paterson, said police who arrested him.
Douglas Pereira was carrying heroin and drug paraphernalia when Sgt. Adam Fingeroth stopped one of the stolen cars and arrested him early Saturday night, Detective Lt. William Duran said.
The 24-hour spree began last Friday afternoon when a 2017 Chevy Silverado that a deliveryman left running was snatched from outside the Ivy Apartments on Howard Drive.
Police found the Silverado early Saturday morning parked on Linwood Avenue, with the keys still inside.
Later that morning, a 2014 Toyota Camry was reported stolen from the apartment complex.
The owner told police that he’d left the keys in the ignition while he ran in to collect some belongings, Duran said.
Fingeroth found it a short time later on another block in the complex.
The third report came in shortly before 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
The owner told police she found her 2019 Honda CRV gone after she left it double parked and running to go into an apartment, Duran said.
This time, Fingeroth spotted the stolen vehicle in the area of Sylvan and Washington avenues. Pereira was driving, the lieutenant said.
The sergeant stopped Pereira by the apartments on Howard Drive and took him into custody without incident, Duran said.
All three vehicles were returned to their owners, he said.
Pereira, meanwhile, was released pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack on three counts of theft and possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia.
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation collected evidence.
Duran reminded owners to lock their vehicles and take their keys no matter where they park or for how long. Car burglars and thieves don't bother with locked vehicles when there are so many other easier opportunities.
“These incidents can be avoided,” the lieutenant said. “Don’t become a victim.”
ALSO SEE: Three Bergenfield police officers had to be treated for various injuries following an unprovoked attack by a Teaneck man who’d become the subject of a search after he walked out of Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, authorities said.
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