PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in Bergen County are warning residents about an increase in car thefts.
Richie Abbamont told CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco he didn’t think twice as he parked his car outside a Paramus, New Jresey coffee shop and left it running with the keys in the ignition, windows down and even a cell phone in plain sight.
“I live in the area, I’m not too concerned,” he said.
But Paramus police said Abbamont should be concerned; he is exactly who an auto theft ring in Bergen County is preying on.
Police said since January, 16 cars have been stolen — nine of which have been high-end like Abbamont’s Audi.
This organized ring has been targeting vehicles near highways and main thoroughfares, that were left running outside of coffee shops or mini marts where drivers only momentarily go inside, Carrasco reported.
Now, Paramus police have said the ring is moving into residential areas where people are leaving their car doors unlocked and the keys inside.
In just the last week alone, police say three luxury cars left running were stolen out of driveways between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. as the unsuspecting owners were inside, police said.
“I don’t trust anybody,” said one local motorist. “I don’t care, like, how safe a neighborhood it is.”
And many drivers said they’re not willing to chance it.
“I wouldn’t do it. They’re taking a risk but hey, it’s up to them,” said another motorist.
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