EDITORIAL — Reality check: Where we live, car doors must be locked

This is the next in a series of editorials — frankly, we’ve lost track of specifically how many there have been — designed to remind resident of the importance of locking car doors and not keeping the keys or fobs in them overnight or when you run into the store for 30 seconds.

This time, the warning comes from the Nutley Police Department. We’ve seen them from all the police departments we cover. And, without much doubt, we are certain this will not be the final one we get.

We’ve asked countless police brass and local leaders why these crimes keep on happening and the answers are becoming universal.

First, residents are having a tough time accepting they live in a town where cars are stolen, brazenly, right off of people’s driveways.

Next, criminals are well aware of this.

The Nutley PD estimated 90% of all vehicles stolen in that township were of cars left running (I’m just running into the store for one thing) or where keys were just sitting there, with unlocked doors, inviting criminals in, making their jobs more simple than anything you could imagine.

Think of this for a second. Let’s say you own a laptop. It’s valued at $1,200. You get home, put it on the roof of your car, grab a few other items — and then head inside the house. But then you realize you left the laptop on top of the car. Not one person reading this editorial says, “Eh, I will grab it tomorrow.” No, you head right outside and bring the thing inside immediately.

So how or why is it people don’t do the same with keys or fobs that allow something worth considerably more than a laptop to be taken without any assistance? 

The reality is that though we are generally safe in this area, we live in a place where cars are stolen. It is certainly not because more criminals live here. Instead, it’s because too many can’t accept the reality — and that reality is cars are easy to take here. 

Residents just make it too easy.

So, please. Help the police. Help you neighbors. Accept the new reality. Start locking your cars and don’t leave them running, unattended, even for 30 seconds.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off 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 Facebook Live, 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 West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.