Car Thefts and Break-ins Continue
Frustrated by residents leaving cars unlocked, police issue a list of crime prevention tips.
Two luxury cars were stolen from a home on Fairfield Terrace sometime early Sunday. Residents reported at 10:10 a.m. on Sunday (Nov. 13) that both a Mercedes Benz and a Jaguar with the keys left inside were stolen from their driveway.
Besides the car keys, inside the car were also the valet keys and a wallet containing a driver’s license, social security card and miscellaneous credit cards, according to police.
That crime, along with several other vehicle break-ins and a home burglary in which someone entered through a window, prompted police to issue a list of property crime prevention tips (see the end of this article).
Frustrated by the continuation of unlocked vehicles being stolen or burglarized, police have asked residents to help by locking their vehicles and not leaving the keys inside.
“ALL keys should be removed and never left inside the vehicle,” said police spokesman Peter Eakley. “The leaving of unlocked vehicles with keys inside has been a constant source of frustration for the law enforcement community.”
Police ask that residents keep their home windows locked and keep items like ladders locked away as well so they cannot be used by would-be burglars. They also implored residents to quickly report crimes and suspicious activity quickly.
“We are doing everything we can to keep you and your homes safe, but cannot be everywhere all the time,” Eakley said. “We need your help, and together as partners we can continue to make this community a safe place to live, work and play.”
Other crimes in the last week included the following from the police blotter. Arrest information was provided by Millburn Police and does not indicate a conviction:
- Outstanding Warrant: While on patrol Nov. 8, two Millburn Police officers observed a Honda Civic swerving on Rt. 124. They pulled over the vehicle found that the driver, Jose Feliciano, 40, of Brooklyn, NY, had an outstanding motor vehicle warrant out of the City of Newark. Feliciano was arrested, transported to Millburn Police Headquarters for processing and posted $200 bail.
- Theft: TRC Company located at 57-61 East Willow Street reported on sometime between Sept. 29 and Nov. 3, someone removed four Dell laptop computers from an office between.
- Marijuana Possession: When Millburn patrol officers on pulled over a Nissan that was impeding the flow of westbound traffic on Route 24 at 1:42 p.m. on Nov. 8, they smelled a strong odor of marijuana. Further investigation resulted in the arrest of Michael Ventura and his passenger Joseph Matos, both of Union. Ventura was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while under a suspended driver’s license and impeding the flow of traffic. Matos was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both men were released pending a court hearing.
- Vehicle burglary – Sometime between 11 p.m. on 8 Nov. 2011 and 5 a.m. on Nov. 9, someone into an Infiniti parked in Millburn Municipal Parking Lot 5. The actors gained access by punching the driver’s side lock. The vehicle was ransacked and nothing appeared to be taken.
- Vehicle burglary – At 8:23 a.m. on Nov. 9, a Colonial Way resident reported that she heard her vehicle alarm going off at 3:45 a.m. The homeowner saw an unknown car speeding away from her home. She then went outside and found her unlocked Mercedes Benz had been entered and the glove box ransacked. The resident cleaned up the scene and waited until morning to report the incident to the police.
- Vehicle burglary – On Nov. 9 at about 2:50 p.m. a Taylor Road resident reported that someone had entered her unlocked Cadillac Escalade between 9 a.m. on Nov. 8 and 12:15 a.m. on Nov. 9. Someone ransacked the storage compartments of the automobile. The victim placed all the contents back into their proper location, prior to notify the police.
- Residential burglary: At 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 9, a Sunset Drive resident reported that someone broke into her home by using a stepladder and entering through an unlocked window. The ladder had been taken from a neighbor’s house and was normally stored outside. The burglar(s) primarily took jewelry from the home.
- Theft – On Nov. 10, 2011 at 5:20 p.m., a shopper at The Mall of Short Hills reported that she left a shopping bag filled with merchandise near the Christmas display. She then took her child to see Santa Claus, when she returned her property had been stolen.
- Vehicle Burglary: A resident reported that between 5 p.m. on Nov. 9 and 9 a.m. on Nov. 10 someone broke into her unlocked Chevrolet Tahoe and took a wallet with her driver’s license and various credit cards.
- Counterfeit money/forgery: On Nov. 11 at 3:30 p.m., the Millburn Police Department responded to Neiman Marcus at The Mall at Short Hills on a report of a woman being detained for allegedly using counterfeit currency. The on-scene investigation determined that 22-year-old Imani Walker of Brooklyn, NY, was in possession of almost $3,000 in counterfeit US $100 bills. Walker had made a purchase and was detained by store security and was arrested by the Millburn Police Department and charged with forgery. In addition, the United States Secret Service was also contacted for a follow up investigation. The United States Secret Service has primary federal jurisdiction on counterfeit currency. Walker was released pending her court hearing.
- Shoplifting: The Millburn Police Department responded to Saks Fifth Avenue at The Mall at Short Hills on Nov. 11 at 3:58 p.m., where the store’s loss prevention personnel had detained suspect for shoplifting. After police investigated at the scene, police arrested 20-year-old Byhera Welch of Newark. Welch was transported, processed, and charged for shoplifting for allegedly attempting to steal two pair of gloves valueed at $200. Welch was released pending her court date on the Millburn charges, but turned over to the City of East Orange on an outstanding criminal warrant.
- Theft: Victoria Secret located at The Mall at Short Hills reported that on Nov. 11 at 7:41 p.m., the store was a victim of a theft and managers had in their possession fraudulent American Express Credit Cards.
- Vehicle burglary: A Lake Road resident reported on Nov. 14 at 7:40 a.m. that that someone broke into his unlocked BMW and Chevrolet Suburban. Both vehicles were ransacked and nothing appears to have been taken.
- Vehicle burglary: On Nov. 13 at 9:38 a.m., residents on Forest Drive, came to the Millburn Police Department to report that during the overnight hours someone entered their Land Rover and stole a laptop computer, a digital camera, EZ Pass and miscellaneous other electronic and clothing items. The victims said that their dog was barking in the early morning hours. They also said they thought their Land Rover was locked but it might have been unlocked.
- Vehicle burglary: On Nov. 13 at 10:47 a.m, a second Forest Drive resident reported that during the overnight hours someone had entered his BMW, ransacked the vehicle and stole his iPod and coin purse with change and currency inside.
Police released a list of crime prevention techniques to use to avoid becoming victims of property crimes such has burglary and vehicle burglary.
1) Residents should always lock windows to their homes. Under all circumstances ladders that could be used to gain access should be locked in garages or chained and padlocked around such items as trees so that criminals cannot utilize them.
2) The vast majority of burglarized and stolen vehicles in this region of New Jersey have been unlocked and/or had the keys (or the valet key) left in the vehicle.
3) In addition, if at all possible, please remove all valuables from your vehicles. When your car is parked in your driveway, laptop computers, cameras and wallets can easily be removed. When valuables are left in the vehicles, it once again makes your vehicle a more attractive target for the criminals.
4) Under no circumstances should wallets with valuable documents should ever be left in vehicles. When these items are stolen, the victim is potentially at risk for identity theft and other types of fraud. Although sometimes needed, people should not normally keep their social security card in their wallets/ purse.
5) The law enforcement community needs your help; if you are a victim of a crime, contact police immediately and do not touch the scene. Waiting hours or even days before calling law enforcement can cause the loss of valuable information and evidence.
6) If you see or hear anything suspicious, even, for example a dog barking during the overnight hours, please notify the police immediately.
These crimes are under investigation; if you have any further information that may assist police, please contact the Detective Bureau at (973) 564-7017.