One Thing They Had In Common -- All Vehicles Were Unlocked

BRANCHBURG, N.J. (CBS 2) — One New Jersey town was left rattled after it was hit with the most car burglaries it’s ever seen – 50 in one night.

Now, police are left trying to figure out who’s responsible for the burglary spree, reports CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

Someone ransacked and burglarized Sean O’Hagan’s car while it was parked in the driveway of his Branchburg home, stealing money but leaving other things behind.

“The glove compartment was open; the center console, everything was taken out of it,” O’Hagan said. “My iPod was in the middle of the car, and it wasn’t taken.”

Police said the same person, or group of people, hit a total of 50 cars in the quiet suburban neighborhood, walking away with electronics, like GPS devices, and money.

“They just took some change from our car – we just saw some change scattered up the driveway – and that’s basically it,” another burglary victim, Robert Fonti said. “I don’t know why they took change, but they did.”

All of the victims had one thing in common – they all left their car doors unlocked.

“I guess everybody feels safe in the neighborhood, so they leave their cars unlocked, which makes you a target if somebody knows the neighborhood,” Branchburg resident Karen Bartosik said. “Our car is in the garage, and locked in the garage, so we were good. We weren’t touched.”

Close to $400 in cash and more than $3,000 in electronic equipment was reported stolen in a span of six hours Tuesday night, starting at about 11:30 p.m.

“A lot of it was just change. You know, everybody puts their change inside the car, and they get $358 worth of change,” Branchburg Police Capt. David Young said.

Police said they have no suspects so far, but they’re asking the public to call them with information.

“It looks like somebody might have been on foot and just continually going to wherever they are going, and this might have been an activity on the way,” Capt. Young said.

The bottom line, police said, is that it doesn’t matter where you live or how safe you think your community is – lock your car doors.

Some of the victims told police that their cars were ransacked, but that nothing was taken.

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