FAIRFIELD, NJ — In frustration after several recent incidents, Fairfield Township Mayor James Gasparini once again advised all Fairfield residents to lock their car doors and instructed them not to leave keys or key fobs in their vehicles.

Due to increased car thefts in the Fairfield and surrounding areas, he said residents should never leave their cars unlocked or running, especially with pocketbooks and valuables visible.

“I just don’t understand why people don’t lock their cars or at least take their keys out,” Gasparini said at the mayor and council meeting on Monday.

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He also explained that the more expensive cars have a mechanism that when keys are left in, side mirrors extend outward. When keys are taken out, the mirrors retract, he said. In other words, thieves can see when mirrors are extended and know that the cars are easy targets.

“They just push the button, and they are gone,” said Gasparini.

He announced that on or about July 10, Fairfield residential areas once again became the target for car thieves who look for vehicles whose owners left their key fobs in their cars or who left their cars unlocked overnight.

“Two vehicles, with their keys left in them, were stolen from residential driveways, and two other vehicles that were left unlocked had items taken from them,” he said.

He also said that on July 15, officers chased a stolen BMW at around 6:00 a.m. that was in the Jorgenson Lane area.

“The vehicle got away because of excessive speeds,” said Gasparini. “These incidents mainly occur during the overnight hours and highlight the need for residents to lock their cars and to remove their key fobs from their vehicles.”

The areas involved in these incidents were Little Falls Road, Glenroy Road South, Liberty Court, Concord Road and Crestwood Drive.

Additionally, the mayor said a Horseneck Road resident interrupted a burglary of his or her residence on July 12.

“When the burglar fled, the resident was able to take pictures from their cell phone of the suspect’s vehicle, including the license plate,” he said. “Detectives followed up on the information, and as a result, warrants for the arrest of a Paterson man have been issued.”

In other police news, Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna recognized Lt. Peter Pollack, Sgt. Joseph Keegan, Sgt. David Proctor, Sgt. Michael Nyhuis, Officer Steven D’Argenio, Officer Daniel Moran, and Officer Louis Bisciotti at the meeting.

The men were awarded a unit citation ribbon for the teamwork displayed on July 2 in the apprehension of three suspects. One suspect attempted to flee on foot, and in the apprehension, there was a seizure of 5.22 ounces of crystal methamphetamine and other controlled dangerous substances allegedly destined for distribution.

On June 19 and 21, Lt. Daniel Dias and Det. Jeffrey Didyk presented the Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate (A.L.I.C.E.) active shooter protocols to Fairfield Township employees. The police department is offering to present this training program to the employees of any businesses and also will offer it to residents in the fall and winter.

Gasparini also reported that Sgt. Christopher Niemiec recently returned from a weeklong training with the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police that was held at the College of Policing in Manchester England.

“The training, which was paid for with forfeiture funds that are designated for such use, provided him with lessons in leadership, large scale event policing and Great Britain’s approach to community policing,” he said.