Police & Fire

CAUGHT! Surveillance Video of Teenage Thieves Entering Unlocked Cars

Clear view of the face of a suspect who entered an unlocked car on Helen Street in the early hours of Tuesday, August 26th. 
Ducking down as a motorist passes along Helen St., two thieves enter an unlocked car looking for loot.
Thief in white T-shirt rummages though unlocked car on Helen St. in Fanwood
After rummaging through an unlocked car, two young men in white T-shirts join three other mischief-makers and walk down Helen St. early Tuesday morning.

FANWOOD, NJ -- Area police have recently received reports of thefts of property from unlocked cars. In Fanwood, at around 1 a.m. on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 26, a group of teenagers were caught on surveillance video entering unlocked cars on Helen Street.  

A video was provided to TAP into SPF by a homeowner whose security system provided a glimpse of the actions of up to five teens roaming around Helen Street looking to enter and steal from unlocked cars.

"The Fanwood Police Department, along with several surrounding departments, is investigating burglaries to unlocked vehicles. Residents are reminded to lock their vehicles and to avoid leaving items in plain view in their vehicles," said Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo. "Residents are asked to immediately report any suspicious people or activities to the Fanwood Police Department at (908) 322-5000 or call 9-1-1."

Last week, TAP into Clark reported that the Clark Police Department received 22 reports of burglaries of unlocked cars on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 21. On Aug. 4, a resident of Beverly Avenue in Scotch Plains reported that someone entered her unlocked vehicle parked in front of her house and removed an undetermined amount of cash.  

According to the Fanwood police blotter, a resident in the 100 block of Burns Way reported her unlocked parked vehicle was entered by an unknown person who removed a laptop computer and loose change (estimated value stolen: $ 2,600) sometime between July 28 at 8:45 a.m. and July 29 at 7:15 a.m. Additionally, a resident of the 50 block of King Street reported that a GPS was stolen from her unlocked vehicle sometime between July 31 at midnight and Aug. 14 at 6:15 a.m.

"Citizens must be more vigilant in locking their vehicles. Make sure your car is locked at night so that no one enters it. Usually the culprits are teenagers looking for quick money," added Trigo, who noted that many cars have garage door openers on the sun visors above the dashboard of their vehicles. With the garage door openers, thieves could gain access into homes when residents are away.

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