Car stolen while drivers gets out to close driveway gate

Posted: Updated:
NEWARK -

Newark police continue to warn drivers not to leave their cars running and unattended because they can easily be stolen.

One Newark man learned just how quickly it can happen after his car was stolen within a matter of seconds when he got out to close a gate.

Surveillance video from Main Street in Newark shows driver Felipe Oliveri pulling his white Mercedes forward so that he can close the gate to his driveway. It was around 5 p.m. Sunday and he was on his way to church.

As Oliveri gets out of the car, a thief wearing a bright red, white and blue jacket and red shoes runs towards the Mercedes and jumps into the driver’s seat. Oliveri tries to grab on to the passenger door before the car speeds away.

RELATED: Police warn drivers not to leave cars idling amid rash of thefts 

“I was just trying to open the door and then if I could open the door, I don’t know what I would do,” Oliveri says.

Newark police say that 214 vehicles have been stolen in the city this year alone, and 90 of those vehicles were cars that were left running.

Hugo Goncalves lives across the street from Oliveri. It was his camera that caught the theft.

“What they say is turn off the car no matter what it is - five seconds, 10 seconds. And it's true because you never know who is around watching,” Goncalves says.

Oliveri was able to get his car back the next day. Mercedes was able to track it with a GPS. Oliveri found the car Monday afternoon about three miles away on Hudson Street – the navigation computer was ripped out of the console. The thieves also stole more computer components out of the back of the car.

Oliveri says that he will be able to get it repaired.

“Nothing happened with the car and nothing happened with myself,” he says.

Oliveri also says that he will never leave his car idling again.

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