SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – Three vehicles have been stolen in two weeks in Sparta Township and police remind residents to take the key fob out of their vehicles.
On Saturday, township police responded to a residence for a report of a stolen 2016 Mercedes Benz GLA 350 that was taken from the driveway. The vehicle was last seen at 8:00 p.m. Friday and the resident stated that they left the car’s key fob in the unlocked vehicle. A pocketbook, containing money, driving credentials, wallet and credit cards, were also left in the vehicle, Sparta Police Lt. John Lamon said.
The credit card company contacted the resident, later in the day, to inform them that someone unsuccessfully tried to use their credit card in Edison, NJ, Lamon said.
This is the third vehicle that has been taken from the Sparta area in the past two weeks. There have been a rash of stolen vehicles around the State in recent weeks, Lamon said.
Sparta Police are aware of a criminal enterprise that is operating in New Jersey out of the Newark, NJ area and there apparently using an App to locate key fobs, Lamon said.
Residents need to take their vehicle’s key fob out of the vehicle when they arrive home and lock their vehicle. The vehicle’s that have recently been stolen have all had the key fobs in them and the vehicles have been unlocked. We believe that this criminal group is arriving in the Sparta area between 11:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., Lamon said.
Police are requesting that residents call 9-1-1 if they see anything suspicious in their neighborhood. These car thieves are professional criminals and we caution anyone to not confront them even if they are getting into your parked vehicle, Lamon said.
Sparta Police detectives are working with the Stolen Vehicle Task Force in Newark to identify the persons responsible for these thefts, Lamon said.
Patrols have stepped up neighborhood checks during the late night hours, Lamon said.
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