Over the past month, there has been a rash of early morning motor vehicle burglaries and thefts across Morris County, with the burglars and thieves at work while most residents are asleep, according to Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon.
Most of these incidents are occurring between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., with criminals targeting cars parked in driveways or streets. In some cases, residents may be away on summer vacations. Almost all of the municipalities in the county have been affected by these break-ins and thefts
“Please, be aware that criminals are not taking the summer off,’’ said Sheriff Gannon. “While your guard may be down, they are more than willing to make you a crime victim. So, take some easy precautions to thwart their efforts.’’
“None of our residents in any of the county’s 39 towns are immune from car or truck thefts,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, who also serves as a municipal prosecutor. “Make sure to keep your guard up. Don’t make it easy for thieves to operate.’’
In many cases, say authorities, multiple individuals travel into our communities in one or more vehicles checking for easy pickings: Unlocked cars. Suspects rummage through the open vehicles to locate valuables, with an eye out for key fobs (keyless car entry devices) or garage door openers. The key fob is a criminal’s gateway to your vehicle. A stolen garage door opener is the gateway to your home. A stolen purse or wallet opens the door not just to your credit or money, but also to identity theft.
Authorities also have found that some of those stolen vehicles taken from Morris County in recent months have been used in the commission of violent crimes before being recovered. More than 750,000 drivers fall victim to this costly crime each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. So, what to do for protection?
Use common sense when parking and exiting your vehicle:
- Take your vehicle's key; do not leave it in or on your vehicle.
- Close and lock all windows and doors when you park.
- Park in well-lit areas if possible.
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle, and that includes GPS units, cell phones, iPads, and laptops.
Due to violent acts that have occurred during or immediately after thefts occur, residents are warned not to confront suspects but to immediately contact police if a theft occurs oryou spot a suspicious person or vehicle.