Unveiling Car Thieves' Secrets Amid Rising Crime Rates in NJ

As motor vehicle thefts surge across New Jersey, car owners face a growing threat from increasingly sophisticated thieves. With more than 16,600 vehicles stolen in 2023 alone—a 4% increase over the previous year—residents are urged to stay vigilant against this escalating trend.

According to law enforcement authorities, car thieves employ various tactics, from using stolen vehicles to commit additional crimes to dismantling cars for resale as parts. Some thefts are purely for the thrill of a joyride. In response to these alarming statistics, authorities are shedding light on lesser-known techniques used by car thieves to identify vulnerable targets.

One such method involves exploiting a common feature found on many luxury vehicles: automatic side mirrors that fold in when the vehicle is locked. This seemingly innocuous function, designed for convenience and security, inadvertently serves as a telltale sign for potential thieves. The Fair Lawn police recently issued a warning to the public, cautioning that the automatic fold-in feature makes locked vehicles easily identifiable to criminals.

The awareness of this feature among car thieves underscores the need for heightened security measures among vehicle owners. While some vehicles offer the option to disable this automatic function, the process varies depending on the manufacturer. Car owners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with their vehicle’s security settings to mitigate the risk of theft.

Additionally, certain car models are disproportionately targeted by thieves in New Jersey. These models, identified as the most frequently stolen vehicles in the state, serve as prime targets for organized theft rings and opportunistic criminals alike. As such, owners of these vehicles are urged to take extra precautions to safeguard their property against potential theft.

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In light of the rising crime rates, collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the community is essential to combatting car theft. By staying informed and implementing proactive security measures, residents can help deter would-be thieves and protect their vehicles from falling into the wrong hands.

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