Livingston residents are being urged to lock their cars following a string of thefts involving automobiles last week.
On Aug. 9, a Congressional Parkway resident told her car, parked outside her residence, had been burglarized. She found her unlocked 2010 Infinity G37 with the passenger door ajar and the contents in her glove compartment had been thrown around. However, the only thing stolen from her car was an owner's manual and a set of keys that operated her mother's white Mercedes Benz. Later that day, the Mercedes was reported stolen from her mother's East Hanover residence.
Later that day, a South Orange resident was shopping at the Livingston Mall. When she was ready to drive home, she realized her 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee was taken out of the parking lot. The vehicle was found two days later in Newark.
The thefts didn't stop there as Filmore Avenue residents suffered from a rash of break-ins. According to Det. Sgt. Anthony Dippold, four residences from that road reported that their unlocked cars had been broken into.
One resident reported that a cell phone charger and insurance card had been taken from her 2012 Honda CRV. Another said that a TomTom GPS was taken from his 2011 Honda Pilot. A third resident said that his 2013 Ford Edge had been ransacked and his sunglasses and owner's manual were taken.
Luckily for the rest of the residences on the street, when the thieves made it to the next car, they were observed by the car's owner. A man told police he saw a male in a hooded sweatshirt breaking into his 2012 BMW X5. The thief stole four cell phones, Bose speakers and a laptop from the unlocked car. When the man noticed he had been seen, he ran into a waiting white Mercedes Benz and the car sped away.
On Aug. 10, an Irvington resident reported her red 2001 Dodge Caravan had been stolen from the parking lot at the Livingston Mall. The car was recovered on Monday morning in South Orange. It has since been towed back to Livingston so detectives could examine it for finger prints.
The thieves who stole her car were apparently looking for a 'stolen car upgrade.' Left at the scene was a 1996 Plymouth Breeze stolen from East Orange the previous day.
Later that day, resident a woman reported her unlocked 1999 Dodge Stratus had been broken into while she shopped at the Livingston Mall. Her JVC car stereo was stolen from the car.
The thefts at the mall didn't stop there. A West Orange resident said his 2005 Dodge Caravan had been broken into while he was shopping. His driver's side lock was broken, as was his ignition. However, the thieves couldn't get the car started to steal it.
A Livingston resident reported a similar incident that day as his 2000 Jeep Cherokee suffered damage to his driver's side lock and the car's ignition. The car had been left in the Livingston Mall parking lot.
On Monday morning, another Livingston resident said the front passenger window of her car had been smashed in while parked outside her Walnut Street residence. She said that her glove compartment had been ransacked.
Dippold said Livingston was reminding residents it's important to lock their cars when they leave them outside.
Do you lock your car at night?