CHESTER, NJ (Morris County) – Chester police are reminding residents to lock their cars after a string of vehicle break-ins and car thefts.
On Saturday, July 24, at around 3:45 a.m., a resident of the northeastern section of town, known as Dogwood Acres, became the victim of two motor vehicle thefts and two other attempted motor vehicle thefts, police said.
A 2021 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2017 Honda had been left unlocked with the keys inside, and parked in the homeowners’ driveway. Two other unlocked vehicles also parked in the driveway were rummaged through, police said.
A statewide broadcast was made to alert other agencies about the stolen vehicles. The Chevrolet and Honda were later recovered in Newark, police said.
Then at around 6:30 a.m., police began receiving calls regarding additional motor vehicle thefts and burglaries throughout the Dogwood Acres neighborhood. In total, fourteen calls were placed in regards to these incidents, police said.
A 2014 Ford Fusion was also stolen from a residence on Dogwood Drive. Reports were taken for seventeen additional vehicles that had been burglarized, all of which were unlocked. Several valuables were reported stolen from the vehicles, police said.
Additionally, a 2011 Lexus RX3, previously stolen out of Montville Township was found parked and abandoned in a driveway on Cramer Drive, police said.
“We cannot stress enough the importance of LOCKING your vehicles, REMOVING keys and valuables, and calling 9-1-1 for any suspicious persons or vehicles you observe,” police said.
It is known that professional, gang-related car theft rings are targeting Morris County for the purpose of stealing motor vehicles, regardless of the type of vehicle or time of day, police said.
If anyone in the Dogwood Acres area observed suspicious activity around 3:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m., or has any possible camera footage of the event on surveillance cameras, contact the Chester Police Department at 908-879-5514.