Among the towns hit hardest by car burglars this summer has been Elmwood Park, with 52 over the past five months – every single one involving an unlocked vehicle, authorities said.
A car burglar captured on home surveillance video could be from one of the bordering or nearby towns – Paterson, Passaic, Clifton, Garfield and Lodi, among them – as could others who are likely responsible.
All of the break-ins occurred overnight (1 to 5 a.m.) across a wide area from Rosedale to Stone Avenue from April 1 to Aug. 24, Police Chief Michael Foligno said.
“It should be noted that in all instances, the vehicles were left unlocked,” the chief said. “It’s obvious that the suspects would rather enter unlocked vehicles instead of risking detection by breaking locks or shattering windows.”
Foligno urged citizens to lock their vehicles at all times – especially in their driveways and outside their homes – and to never leave a key fob inside.
Don’t be bashful, either: Any time you see something sketchy – someone looking into car windows, trying door handles, etc. – call police immediately.
They don’t mind, Foligno said. They’d rather get called than risk theft or property damage to residents or merchants.
“All too often we will receive a call from a resident reporting that their car was ransacked to learn that either they or a neighbor saw or heard something suspicious the night before and neglected to notify us,” the chief said.
“We need your help in not only this but detecting and deterring all types of crime in our community,” he said. “In many cases you are our eyes and ears, and we rely on your awareness and willingness to help to make our community great.’
Dial 911 if you feel it’s an emergency or call the main number at (201) 796-0700, option #7 , for the desk officer.
Foligno, meanwhile, has beefed up patrols, including unmarked units, undercover and uniformed officers and a close eye on “hot zones.”
Anyone with information that could help detectives investigating the break-ins is asked to contact Capt. Marc D’Amore at (201) 796-0700, ext. 110 . Callers can remain anonymous, the chief said.
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