WESTFIELD, NJ — Authorities are looking into the theft of another vehicle left unlocked with its key fob inside, police said.

A thief stole the vehicle from 400 block of Alden Avenue Friday morning. Authorities notified the First Ward neighborhood via Nixle message Friday afternoon.

“It was unlocked with its key fob in it,” stated the message. “Please lock up!!!” Vehicle thefts, particularly of unlocked vehicles, have been an ongoing issue in the town.

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This year, the municipality saw 19 vehicle thefts and 63 vehicle burglaries as of Dec. 20, Police Chief Christopher Battiloro said in a letter to residents.

Eight of those thefts happened in the fourth quarter of this year, Battiloro said.

“In nearly every single instance, the stolen vehicle was left unlocked with its key/key fob left inside the vehicle at the time of the theft — or a key/key fob previously stolen from the unlocked vehicle was used,” he stated.

Authorities do not believe the suspects are using specialized technology to track key fobs, Battiloro told TAPinto Westfield.

“Our suspects are just looking for open cars, and they’re burglarizing them, and if the key fobs are in them they’re taking them,” he said.

Some of these thefts have led to police chases, Battiloro said.

“Some of these stolen vehicles have crashed while fleeing town, in some instances while being pursued at high speeds by police,” he stated. “There have been seven documented police pursuits thus far this year — all of which have presented great danger to officers.”

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh

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