WEST ORANGE, NJ — Although overall crime continues to trend downward during the pandemic, the West Orange Police Department (WOPD) released a statement on Wednesday to alert residents that auto burglaries continue to plaque the community.

According to the WOPD, the vast majority of vehicles entered have been through unlocked doors, but officers have also seen a few forced entries where tools and change were stolen after being observed in plain view.

“This is mostly a crime of opportunity that takes advantage of one feeling complacent in familiar surroundings,” said West Orange Police Chief James Abbott. “Don’t let basic personal safety measures be overshadowed by heightened concerns over the coronavirus. Stay focused on everyday precautions with common sense and situational awareness.”

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The department stated that it is equally important for homeowners to remind contractors working in their homes to lock their vehicles, noting that these vehicles are “loaded with tools that are an easy target for a quick strike.”

Any suspicious activity should be reported to the West Orange Police Department’s non-emergency line at (973) 325-4000. Residents should call 911 in the event of an emergency.