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News

IN BROAD DAYLIGHT: Brazen Thieves Steal Vehicle From Garage While Bergen Family Is Home

Old Tappan police
Old Tappan police Photo Credit: OLD TAPPAN PD

An Old Tappan resident was in his backyard with one of their dogs and his wife and two daughters were inside with the other when thieves broke into their garage and stole their distinctive orange SUV.

“The garage was closed and the side door was locked,” the wife said after the 7:30 p.m. theft Saturday.

“Not only was it broad daylight -- we were all home,” she said. “They literally had to pick a lock to get into the garage, then had to do a five-point turn to get the car out.”

A thief dressed all in black with a “1977” logo on his clothing emerged from an all-black BMW that pulled up to the $1.5 million home on Fernwood Drive.

First, he “rummaged through my husband’s BMW, which was parked in the driveway,” the wife said. “Either he was looking for a garage door opener or he was looking for the keys to my husband’s car or both.

“We don’t keep garage door openers or keys in any car except for the cars that are kept in the garage -- which obviously from now on we won’t do either.”

Once inside, the thief found a key fob and purse in the Audi Q3.

The woman said she hopes others learn from their experience.

“I am [insistent] about closing/locking doors because I am a nervous wreck about this type of thing,” she said, “and it happened to me anyway.”

Bail reform has made criminals "more bold and brazen," Old Tappan Police Chief Joseph Tracy said. “They arrive in daylight hours now."

"Residents should always ensure all doors are closed and locked even when they are home," Tracy said. "And take your key fob no matter where or for how long you're parked."

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