NOT SO FAST: Thief Hops Inside Woman's Unlocked Car And Drives Off, Police In NJ Say

A Somerset County man hopped behind the wheel of a woman's car  left unlocked and parked outside of her job and drove off, authorities said.

James Owens
James Owens Photo Credit: Somerset County Prosecutor's Office

Surveillance tapes show James Owens, age 39, Somerville, getting inside of the vehicle parked at a business on Route 22 before heading east on Route 22 around 11:35 a.m. on Thursday, April 28 in Branchburg, Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart said.

Owens took the car to Somerville and parked it near Mechanic Street, Taggart said alongside County Detectives John W. Fodor. Police found the stolen car soon after, and identified Owens as the thief, police said.

Owens was found around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, May 1, on reports of a "suspicious man" near Rehill Avenue, Taggart said.

Owens was arrested without incident and charged with third degree theft, Taggart said. He was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing.  

Taggart reminds the public to never leave the keys or the key fob in your vehicle. "Leaving your keys or key fob in your unlocked vehicle gives thieves the opportunity they are seeking," she said.

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