Edison police cracking down on car thefts amid stateside rise in incidents

Edison Township police are getting tough on car thefts after seeing an uptick in thefts and home invasions related to those crimes. Chief Tom Bryan says the bump in car thefts started in March.
News 12 New Jersey spoke to a homeowner who was asleep upstairs this past weekend when four car thieves broke into the home unnoticed.
Goldy Batra says it was around 3 a.m. when the thieves broke in and found the keys for a 2022 Mercedes-Benz G-Class in the kitchen and stole it from the driveway.
One of those thieves also went into Batra’s bedroom where he and his wife were sleeping and stole a Rolex watch from his closet. Batra says he didn’t know what happened until his daughter woke him up at 7 a.m. He then looked at the surveillance video and saw it all.
“I went to the laundry room. I look outside there was no G-Wagen. It’s gone,” Batra says. “They tried to sneak in the sunroom. They couldn’t open it so they break the basement window…They took all my other car keys and stuff like that they took the G-Wagen, my sweaters, my jackets.”
Police say these stolen cars are often used to steal more cars or commit more crimes. Some are packed into containers at Port Newark and shipped to Africa. And some thieves are taking off the VIN tag and renting out the vehicles.
Chief Bryan says he’s putting more patrols in neighborhoods to find car thieves.
“We’re having many more officers out there on the road 24-7. And if these criminals come into Edison, they’re going to have a hard time,” Bryan says.
Police are also using stand-alone license plate trackers at certain locations to spot stolen cars as they drive by. Police officers are then alerted to that car’s position.
Bryan says so far, they’ve been lucky there haven’t been any confrontations between car thieves and homeowners.