Angel Soler, 34, turned out to be wanted on an outstanding warrant, as well, said Capt. Shawn Lee, the officer in charge of the department.
The 12:10 a.m. call immediately brought Sgt. Chris Sambogna and Officers Rory Tennant, Ho Chan Choi. William Duarte and Christian Sisco to West Oakdene Avenue, the captain said.
After reviewing the owner's surveillance video, they flooded the area and quickly seized Soler on Grand Avenue.
Soler has a rap sheet filled with more than dozen drug-related crimes -- in addition to drug court violations -- in several area towns over more than a decade, records shos.Palisades Park police this time charged Soler with two counts each of burglary and criminal trespassing and sent him to the Bergen County Jail on the warrants.
The arrest, Lee said, was a perfect example of why citizens should immediately call police whenever they see someone or something suspicious. It’s much easier to prevent a crime or catch a criminal in the act than it is to recover a vehicle once it’s stolen and/or find whoever was responsible.
Police in New Jersey are also being kept from pursuing vehicles except in certain instances. So the sooner you say something, the better.
The primary reason vehicles are stolen or burglarized, Lee noted, is because they’ve been left unlocked – often with keys or fobs left inside them.
Bandits from Newark and other points south cruise North Jersey neighborhoods testing 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 in when the vehicle 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.
Do yourself a favor, Lee said: Lock your vehicle and take your keys or fobs with you no matter where you park or for how long.
And remember to call police if/when you ever see something suspicious, the captain said. The property you end up saving may be you own.
ALSO SEE: Fort Lee police converged on a group of teenage out-of-towners moments after they burglarized an unlocked vehicle before dawn Thursday, authorities said. READ MORE....
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