A 2020 Land Rover Range Rover Sport worth $90,000 was recently stolen near a popular restaurant in Margate. And yes, it was left with the key fob inside.
If you haven’t noticed, New Jersey is currently experiencing a serious spike in motor vehicle thefts. That’s according to acting NJ Attorney General, Matthew Platkin.
In 2021, a total of 14,320 cars stolen in New Jersey. That’s a 22% increase from 2020, according to NJ State Police data.
If you own a high-end vehicle, you’re at higher risk.
The top vehicles stolen in New Jersey include Honda Accord, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Honda CR-V, BMW X5 and BMW 3-Series, Land Rover Sport, and Audi Q5.
Five defendants were recently indicted on charges that they conspired to steal, receive, and/or fence at least a dozen mostly high-end vehicles worth approximately $600,000.
- Quamir Hodges, 24, of Montclair, N.J.
- Dion Wiggins, 21, of Newark, N.J.
- Zaquan T. Wright, 19, of Newark, N.J
- Adrian Goolcharran, 37, of Jersey City, N.J., and
- Burdley Jean, 41, of Union City, N.J.
Some NJ police officers say they’re hampered by an updated Attorney General policy, which went into effect in late 2021 and limits police car chases to only the most serious of crimes. This is part of an overhaul led by Gov. Murphy to reduce the use of force by police.
Is any sane rational citizen really surprised by this massive uptick in car thefts? This is what happens when a society essentially rewards thieves by drastically reducing the risk of getting caught and the consequences for their actions if caught.
Under the new policy, a police officer may only pursue a car when he or she thinks a suspect has committed a major crime, such as murder, vehicular homicide or kidnapping. Law enforcement is no longer permitted to continue a car chase because of the suspect’s speed or evasive driving.
“It prohibits a pursuit for a stolen vehicle,” said Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller, who on said catalytic converter theft is on the rise in his town. “What this reform has done is just increased the criminal’s ability to drive away.”
Criminals are stealing cars to hide their identity as they commit other offenses and now cops can’t pursue a possible stolen vehicle. It’s ridiculous and irresponsible.Assemblyman Brian Bergen
When detectives executed a search warrant in December at a purported auto body business in Newark, they allegedly found a stolen Dodge Charger, a defaced semi-automatic handgun, an illegal large-capacity magazine loaded with 14 rounds, and a small amount of fentanyl. Hodges faces drug and weapons charges, including possession of a weapon as a convicted felon.