The West Orange Police Department is asking our community partners and residents to be extra vigilant in protecting their homes and securing their vehicles. The entire state of New Jersey has seen an increase in thefts of motor vehicles as well as burglaries into homes. Some of these burglaries into resident’s homes is an effort to steal the key fobs for vehicles in the driveways.
Last week, West Orange had similar incidents of concern. On May 29, actors gained entry to the residence on Eagle Rock Avenue through an unlocked and partially opened window at approximately 3:30am. Once inside, the key fob to a 2019 Audi Q8 was located and the actors stole that vehicle.
On May 25, actors made entry to a residence on Fairmount Terrace through a rear door. No signs of force were discovered on scene. Actors located the key fob to a BMW 530 on the living room sofa and then stole that vehicle.
In the past 6 months, the WOPD has investigated eight additional incidents in which actors entered a residence with the assumed purpose of locating keys or key fobs to steal those vehicles. Entry was gained to the residences through the following means: 1 garage door opener located in an unlocked vehicle, 3 unlocked front or rear doors, 4 unlocked windows, and 1 forced entry through rear door of the home.
From our incidents, it appears that the actors are targeting high end, luxury vehicles and committing burglaries specifically to obtain the keys or key fobs. All our incidents occurred during the overnight hours and in only one out of the eight incidents, the actors used force to enter the residence.
Surrounding towns are also experiencing this crime wave as Livingston had 6 reported home burglaries and attempted home burglaries in the past week.
"We always remind people to close their windows, lock car doors, take all valuables out of vehicles," Chief Abbott explained. "Even keep outside lights on all night."
The chief says when a person sees something, they should say something and law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help with the burglaries as they track down leads and increase patrols. "We’re out there, but we definitely need eyes and ears of residents as well."
The West Orange Police Department asks anyone with information regarding the recent burglaries or to report any suspicious activity call 973-325-4000. For all emergencies call 911.