Car Thefts on the Rise Statewide, Residents Warned to Lock Vehicles

August 16, 2013
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By John Burton

FAIR HAVEN — Borough police are again advising residents to be sure to lock their cars and take their keys with them after a car was stolen this week and authorities report an upward trend in vehicle thefts.

Det. Stephen Schneider said a 2013 Mercedes 2300 Class was stolen from a residence sometime late Thursday or early Friday.

Following that incident, police sent both text and telephone messages to residents reminding them to secure their vehicles.

There has been a trend – “a statewide problem, actually” – with high-end vehicles being stolen in the last couple of years, including Monmouth County, Schneider said.

Many of the vehicles taken were unlocked, and many had key fobs left in them, as well, Schneider said. The fobs allow the owners to use a remote wireless entry system to open the door.

Leaving the fobs in the cars allow car thieves to “drive right off,” Schneider said. “It’s a quick buck for them.”

A number of communities around the county have seen a rise in stolen vehicles, though Fair Haven isn’t one of them. Prior to the theft of the Mercedes, the police had two reports of theft, about 1½ years ago – and both those owners had left the vehicles unlocked, Schneider said.

The police department sent similar notices out before but decided to repeat it “to urge our residents so we don’t have an issue with it,” Schneider said.

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