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Fort Lee Daily Voice serves Fort Lee, Leonia & Palisades Park

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Fort Lee PD Nabs Late-Night Vehicle Burglars Thanks To Resident's Quick Call

Fort Lee police
Fort Lee police Photo Credit: FLPD

Fort Lee police nabbed two out-of-towners who authorities said were burglarizing vehicles in a quiet local neighborhood.

Officers responding to a 911 call on Briar Way call off Palisade Avenue stopped the suspects’ vehicle shortly after 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Capt. Edward Young said.

They arrested Jahaad Bembry, a 22-year-old food server from Hillside, and Samad Foster, a 26-year-old sanitation worker from Newark, after a witness and home security video confirmed they'd been working the neighborhood, Young said.

Bembry was charged with burglary, and both he and Foster were charged with conspiracy before being released pending court action.

Young, meanwhile, urged owners to always lock their vehicles and take their fobs no matter where or for how long they park.

The overwhelming majority of vehicle burglars don’t technically “break in,” authorities say. Many simple test door handles. If a vehicle is locked, they keep moving. If it’s not, they get to work.

Don’t believe it? 

WATCH THIS: Gone In 30 Seconds (VIDEO): Here's How Car Thieves Steal Unlocked Vehicles In Bergen, Elsewhere

Thieves know what to look for. Some vehicles won't lock if the fob is still in them. Others have side mirrors that fold when the car is locked.

Surveillance cameras aren't much of a deterrent. Many thieves wear hoodies or hide their faces in other ways -- with COVID face masks, for instance. Most cameras don't have high-enough resolution to capture accurate facial features from a distance, especially in low light.

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. Police say they ordinarily don't need to work more than a single block before finding an available ride without having to force their way in. Then you or your neighbor's wheels are gone.

The thieves prefer neighborhoods with trees, fences and other dividers between homes, those with fewer people out and around -- and those with higher-end vehicles available.

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