MAHWAH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police say high-tech thieves are taking off in some high-priced cars. All part of an alleged crime ring stretching across the Tri-state area.
In the dead of night when everyone’s asleep, security cameras caught a figure in a hooded sweatshirt silently jogging up to a Mahwah home hoping to score some new wheels.
The suspect found the car door unlocked, but the key fob to start the engine is missing. This time, the crook leaves empty handed.
“They’re looking at high-end motor vehicles, expensive with people that leave the key fobs in it and doors unlocked in the driveway overnight,” Chief James Batelli of the Mahwah Police Department explained.
Authorities say a few nights before this failed attempt, two high-end cars were successfully stolen out of driveways in one affluent area – a BMW and a Range Rover with key fobs left inside.
“There’s a sense of security right around your own home and that’s what makes them susceptible to these thefts,” Chief Batelli added.
It’s allegedly part of a larger organized crime ring operating across the Tri-state area and Bergen County is being hit hard.
“We know that these cars often end up down in Newark where they’ll sit on a side street so they’ll cool off and then within a day or two after that they’re put in ocean containers where they’re shipped overseas where they’re sold.”
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office says since January, 95 cars have been stolen.
Bergen County officials say car owners need to change their habits, to avoid becoming an easy target.
“Lock your doors, take the key fob out, take the valuables out of the car, that would stop these types of thefts,” Chief Batelli urged drivers.
Mahwah police say thieves are also using black market technology that lets them know exactly which cars have fobs left inside.