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Palisades Park Police Commander Tries Unique Approach To Reducing Vehicle Thefts, Break-Ins

Palisades Park police
Palisades Park police Photo Credit: PalPark PD

A steady stream of warnings about vehicles being stolen or burglarized in North Jersey still hasn't convinced most potential victims to lock their cars and take their key fobs, so Palisades Park Police Capt. Anthony Muccio is trying a different tack.

Officers participating in Muccio's "Operation Secure Vehicle" are patrolling neighborhoods looking for unlocked vehicles.

When they find one in a driveway, they turn on their body cameras and knock on the door or ring the bell of the home to notify the owner. Then they hand them a flier.

Over three nights this past weekend, borough police notified 87 owners that their vehicles were unlocked, said Muccio, the officer in charge of the department.

"They were very appreciative. We've gotten positive feedback," the captain said.

Officers working "Operation Secure Vehicle" in pairs will return to various neighborhoods this weekend and at least through the end of the month, Muccio said.

The officers will distribute the handouts, printed in English and Korean, to those vehicle owners who answer the door. They'll make a note of those who don't for a follow-up.

By doing so, Muccio said, he aims to reduce the number of victims.

"Under no circumstances are we going into any cars," he emphasized.

Police everywhere -- not just in Palisades park -- have gone from frustrated to angry that more and more motorists are basically inviting thieves to steal or burglarize their vehicles.

Simply put: Locks make a huge difference.

As the video above shows, car thieves today simply shop, going from vehicle to vehicle testing door handles.

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.

"People obviously need educating," Muccio said. "I'm hoping this works."


ALSO SEE: Bronx teens driving a pair of stolen vehicles that crashed in Englewood were captured by Port Authority police in Manhattan, authorities said.


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