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State Assembly committee advances 4 bills to toughen auto crime penalties

Lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing stronger penalties for car thieves following a record number of auto thefts in New Jersey.

News 12 Staff

Dec 6, 2022, 3:41 AM

Updated 587 days ago

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Lawmakers in New Jersey are proposing stronger penalties for car thieves following a record number of auto thefts in New Jersey.
Car thefts have been on the rise across the state. Holmdel has seen 17 car thefts so far this year. Thieves have targeted high-end vehicles.
Lawmakers are trying to prevent these thefts with bipartisan legislation.
"This is an epidemic of car theft that can't be accepted, and we must fight back. It's our job as legislators to do everything possible to protect our residents,” says state Assembly Member Christopher Tully.
Four bills passed through the state Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee as the group addressed the root of the problem.
"I think there is a variety of factors. I certainly think that supply chain is one of them and I think the COVID-19 pandemic uprooted a lot of normalcy that we see across society,” says Tully.
Some Republicans point to bail reform as a possible cause for the increase in crime. But the bills still gain bipartisan support.
Assembly Bill 4931 would establish theft of a car as a separate offense. It currently falls under the general theft statute. Assembly Bill 3666 increases the fines and the period of suspension of driving privileges for carjacking and car theft. Assembly Bill 4930 would expand criminal penalties related to the use of a motor vehicle master key, including new technologies used to steal cars with keyless entry systems. And Assembly Bill 2210 would require owners of scrap metal businesses to retain certain information from individuals selling used catalytic converters.
"We are focused on common sense legislation in a bipartisan manner that actually addresses and fixes this problem,” Tully says.
The bills will still need to pass the full state Assembly and state Senate before they go to Gov. Phil Murphy’s desk.


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