Mahwah PD urge residents to take precautions against car theft

Posted: Updated:

Police in Bergen County are warning residents to take the proper precautions against car thefts as a ring of car thieves target the area.

The Mahwah Police Department released surveillance video that shows a suspect walking up to a car on someone’s property and trying to steal it.

Chief James Batelli says that the thieves were looking for cars that had key fobs left inside, making them easier to steal.

“We know it's an organized crime [ring] happening…in the tristate area, stealing these high-end cars:  BMWs, Mercedes Benz, Land Rovers,” he says.

Batelli says that owners are making it too easy for thieves to steal their cars because they are leaving their doors unlocked and their keys inside the cars.

“Now it’s a matter of getting in car, stepping on brake, hit the ignition button and driving way with the car,” Batelli says.

The chief says that seven luxury cars have been stolen in Mahwah this year and about 77 in all of Bergen County. He says that most of the vehicles are sold overseas because the thieves can get good money and aren’t asked many questions about where they obtained the cars.

Batelli says that the easiest way for owners to protect themselves is to lock their doors and take their keys inside. But he says that he is also calling on the auto industry to do their part.

“We hope the car industry will recognize the technology to counter what these thieves are doing,” he says.

Batelli says that police released the video to warn homeowners about the threat of car thieves.

“What we liked about the video is that it graphically shows these people coming up to a house, 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., and taking your car. That should send chills up your spine that someone’s is doing that,” he says.

The Mahwah Police Department is working with a task force made up of local, county and state law enforcement to crack down on these high end theft rings.

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