MORRISTOWN, NJ - Vehicle owners are reminded to remove valuables and lock their vehicles, even while at home, says Morris County Sheriff James Gannon.
Sheriff Gannon noted that burglaries of vehicles in Morris County have decreased by 43 percent in the first six months of 2020 from the same time period in 2019.
So far this year, 79 vehicle break-ins have been reported, including three recent “smash and grab” crimes, he said. Over the first six months of 2019, there were 138 reported car burglaries. In total last year, there were 233 car burglaries and 215 vehicle thefts reported.
While vehicle burglaries currently are down, thefts of actual vehicles in the county between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020 have not decreased, he said. There have been 97 reported vehicle thefts so far in 2020, compared to 98 over the first six months of 2019.
“By taking some simple actions, vehicle owners have real power to protect themselves and their property and discourage thieves. We’re in Stage 2 of the Road Back in New Jersey and people are naturallyanxious to leave home to gather, worship, socialize and exercise. But don’t give thieves opportunities to steal your property by leaving doors unlocked or valuables visible on car seats,” Sheriff Gannon said.
Chester Police Chief Thomas Williver, the president of the Morris County Police Chiefs Association, echoed Sheriff Gannon’s advisory.
"The citizens of Morris County have faced a truly challenging time over the last several months and have persevered. As we return to normalcy, the Morris County Police Chiefs’ Association urges everyone not to be a victim of a crime by reminding them to take the simple step of ‘Lock It or Lose It, Chief Williver said.
The Sheriff's Office is asking vehicle owners and members of the community to take these steps to deter theives:
- Never leave vehicles unlocked or idling unattended, even if you are dashing into a home or store.
- Never leave a key fob in a vehicle.
- Neighbors should watch out for neighbors. Call your neighbor if you see that their car is unlocked or valuables are visible inside the vehicle.
- Report any suspicious activity or person.
- Call 911 to report crimes in progress.
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