Thieves hit Franklin Lakes before dawn Tuesday, stealing a BMW and burglarizing six other vehicles, authorities said.
The BMW was reported stolen from a Scioto Drive driveway, Capt. John Bakelaar said.
Three vehicles were entered on Garden Court, as were two others on Longbow Drive and another on Northwood Drive, the captain said.
Like the stolen BMW, all of the vehicles were parked in driveways, Bakelaar said.
Police and prosecutors throughout North Jersey have been warning vehicle owners to not become victims.
A video shows how quickly it can happen.
Thieves are “roaming quiet neighborhood overnight, coming onto your property and pulling on car door handles,” Bergen County Prosecutor's Chief of Detectives Robert Anzilotti said.
Sometimes they already know whether or not a door will open: A telltale signal on luxury vehicles are the side view mirrors, Anzilotti said, which turn in when they’re locked.
If the door is locked, they keep going. If not, they take whatever’s available – and even the vehicle itself if the owner has left the key fob inside.
“Of greater concern to us is the fact that many times when times when vehicles are stolen, it is not being done for the value of the car but as a means to commit other offenses,” including violent crimes, Anzilotti said.
A video released by the prosecutor's office shows the thieves at work:
“No neighborhood is too safe,” he said, urging owners to lock their vehicles no matter where they’re parked – and be sure to take the key fob with you.
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