NPD: Lock your car doors!


The township continues to see a spike in thefts from vehicles, and the police chief says most could have been avoided if residents had simply locked their cars.

Between March 12 and 18, 20 vehicles were broken into — and over the last three months, there have been nearly 50 such incidents in the township.

As such and as a reminder, Chief Thomas Strumolo has instituted a “Lock Your Door” campaign.

“Unlocked vehicles have contributed to close to 50 thefts over the past several months, all of which could have been prevented if doors were locked,” Strumolo said. “Never leave valuables in cars where they can be observed.

“Anyone who has a home-surveillance system, please send your contact information and system location to, attention Det. Sgt. [Anthony] Montanari, should a crime be committed near your location. Detectives may contact you to review for potential identifiers.”

Following are the incidents of thefts residents reported to the Nutley PD:

March 13

Headquarters dispatched officers to a possible disturbance on Conover Ave.  Upon arrival, police said they learned residents observed an unknown person enter a neighbor’s vehicle — and confronted the suspect who fled the scene in a waiting dark-colored vehicle.  The suspect was described as a black man dressed in all black, according to the NPD. Officers said the vehicle’s front driver’s-side door was still ajar and items inside were left on the front passenger seat.  The owner wasn’t sure whether the doors had been locked — and didn’t believe any items were missing.


A Passaic Ave. resident told police his car was rummaged, and a watch and $50 cash were taken. Police said the car had been locked, but there were no signs of forced entry on it.

March 15

A Gabriel St. resident told police he found his car’s glove compartment open, the contents of which were thrown about the vehicle. A jar of change was taken and the car’s hood was left open. There was no damage to the vehicle, the NPD said.


Another Gabriel St. resident reported a vehicle break-in, but nothing was taken from this one, the NPD said.


A Lewis St. resident told police a neighbor told him his car’s front, passenger-side door was ajar in the morning. The victim told police he hadn’t locked his car when he parked it.


A Montainview Ave. resident police that when he got into his vehicle, he noticed a couple of items moved around in the car.  The glove compartment and center console had both been left open following the break-in.  The victim told police he always leaves the console and glove box closed. A pair of white sunglasses and its case were taken from the center console and left on the passenger-side seat, the NPD said.


Police said three vehicles were broken into on one Passaic Ave. driveway. In the first car, the victim said his driver’s side door was ajar, and the center console and glove compartment were left open, but it didn’t appear anything was missing from the vehicle. From the second vehicle, a broken, green iPhone 5C was stolen.  The third vehicle was found with a door ajar and the center console and glove box open, but it did not appear anything was missing.


Two pairs of men’s Oakley sunglasses were missing from a vehicle the victim said was likely left unlocked overnight on Stewart Ave. There were no signs of forced entry.


Two unlocked vehicles belonging to the same owner and parked on Park Ave. were broken into overnight. In both cars, items from the glove compartments were found on the passenger seats. There was no damage to either vehicle.


Three vehicles parked on Stewart Ave. were broken into. From one, $5 in change was missing. In the others, nothing appeared to be missing, there was no sign of forced entry and the victim told police all of the cars were likely left unlocked overnight.


A Lewis St. victim told police $5 in loose change was taken from his car — and the center console and glove compartment were both left open. There was no sign of forced entry — and the car was most likely left unlocked overnight, according to the NPD.

Beech St.

Nothing was taken from a vehicle here, but the owner told police the driver’s seat was found in a fully reclined position, which it hadn’t been when he left the vehicle the night before — and items from an open glove box and center console were left on the front passenger seat.

Hancox Ave.

A victim told police he returned home to find the front doors to his vehicle open, with the windows partially down and the hood ajar. Items from a center console and glove box were dumped on to the front passenger’s seat — and the victim wasn’t sure whether anything had been stolen.

Franklin Ave. parking lot

A victim told police $300 in groceries — which had been left in a cargo area — were stolen from his van. There was no apparent damage to the van, the NPD said.

Franklin Ave. parking lot

While investigating the previous vehicle break-in, another resident approached police about his vehicle being broken into as well. While nothing was taken from this vehicle, the victim told police he returned to his car to find driver’s side door open [he’d closed it when he left, but didn’t lock it].

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.