Nutley PD warning — car thefts on the rise (again)

Nutley Police Director Alphonse Petracco and Chief Thomas Strumolo are advising Nutley residents that stolen cars are on the rise throughout New Jersey and most of the time, the thefts are made easy by owners who leave cars unlocked and/or with keys or fobs in the vehicles.

Strumolo said 90% of vehicles stolen were idling while the owner entered a store or the key fob remained inside unlocked vehicles. He said this is in line with county and statewide statistics that indicate Nutley is not the only town noticing a spike in thefts.

He said in addition to the stolen vehicles, “we also have an increase in thefts from motor vehicles. This is when a thief enters a vehicle to steal something from inside. There is no doubt that taking loose change, ear buds, iPods and laptops are consolation prizes if the vehicle does not start.”

He said each of these thefts from motor vehicles could easily be auto thefts and all the crimes have a similar theme — car doors were left unlocked.

“Over the past two years, we have only a handful of vehicles that were forcefully entered; most were left unlocked,” the chief said.

Petracco said it is tiring to remind residents to lock their doors; however, this may be the only way to slow these criminals.

“I empathize with the residents who have lived here for 30 years and recall a time when you could leave your doors open. Unfortunately there are thieves that prey on those who forget to lock up,” he said.

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