Ridgewood Man's Car Stolen as he Buys Coffee

Villager left his car running while grabbing a coffee in Paramus, and a thief pounced.

East Rutherford Police caught up with and arrested a suspect in Newark who allegedly stole a vehicle from a Paramus Starbucks on Route 17 South Tuesday.

According to northjersey.com, the car’s owner, a 48-year-old Ridgewood man, left the vehicle running while he went inside the Starbucks on Route 17 South just after 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. The thief took off in the vehicle, a 2005 black Toyota Sequoia, and the owner came outside to find it missing, police said.

The car’s owner called Paramus police, which put out a countywide alert. Police in East Rutherford spotted the car, and began a pursuit that went through Clifton and ended on Bridge Street in Newark. David Rogers, 24, of Newark, was arrested.

A similar incident occurred the day prior at a Dunkin Donuts on Route 17. That vehicle has not been recovered.

There have been several similar thefts of vehicles in the last three months where the driver has left the keys in the vehicle and/or the vehicle running in front of a business. Police are urging motorists to remove their keys and lock the vehicle prior to leaving it unattended. 

It's not clear that any of the incidents are related. Anyone with information regarding both incidents should contact Paramus Police Department: 201-262-3400  Ext. 346.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

John Q. June 14, 2012 at 05:46 PM
jp1 June 14, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Leave the car running while you go in a store! Stupid is as stupid does.
Boyd A. Loving June 14, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I have about as much sympathy for this victim as I do for those who leave purses/wallets in plain view on the seats of their unlocked automobiles while parked overnight in their driveways, then find them stolen the next morning.
A Patch Reader June 14, 2012 at 11:25 PM
That's a drive thru Starbucks. He didn't need to go inside.
RdgwdGRock June 15, 2012 at 12:39 AM
he is a major DOPE. I see this all the time; people are lazy
Chris Rekis June 15, 2012 at 02:18 AM
I came back from the Ridgewood Library tonite were I saw a Jeep running in front with the speakers blasting and the windows open. I saw the driver, a young man in his late 20's, at the front desk returning a book. I wanted to drive away to prove a point. I see this once a week in Ridgewood. What's the thinking?
T. Powers June 15, 2012 at 03:25 AM
People should be able to leave their belongings in their own cars in their own driveways without other people stealing them. Just because this is the way it is doesn't mean this is how it should be. The thief is the one that is in error, not an unsuspecting guy probably just trying to get to work in the morning.
James Kleimann June 15, 2012 at 03:49 AM
You guys are cold! Leaving the car doors unlocked with the engine running obviously isn't smart but c'mon, no sympathy?
About the town June 15, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Those cars should be driven off by police officers and the owners charged a big fine for emissions.
AMAMOM June 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM
No, no sympathy. A man does something stupid and then the taxpayers pay for it in police time and car chases across town and county lines. We also pay in higher insurance rates when the car is not found or crashed. Yes, the stupid man is a victim and the thief is the criminal but I am still not sympathetic.
Harlan Consider June 15, 2012 at 12:58 PM
If I deliberately left my wallet in the street, and came back a few minutes later and discovered it missing, would I get any sympathy? Yes, a criminal took it, but again, would I get any sympathy? As someone has already pointed out, this car-owner's actions resulted in costs to the public, putting police officers and other road users lives at risk.
Ridgewood Mom June 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM
I have sympathy. We all should be careful, but I don't get the whole "victim deserved it because he was stupid" mentality. Should we really pick on "stupid" people? Are victimizers entitled to do their thing, hurting people, as long as their victims are "stupid?" Does this apply to mentally challenged people? I don't leave my car running when I run into stores, but I see a lot of people doing it. Is it a new rule that people are allowed to take other people's cars if they do so?
Laura O June 15, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I don't leave my car running when I'm sitting it. It's the law. Shut your cars off people.
T. Powers June 16, 2012 at 09:45 PM
I am sorry, but it is the thief that caused this problem. Dropping an unattended wallet and someone picking it up is not the same as stealing a car whose owner is clearly coming back for it.
T. Powers June 16, 2012 at 09:51 PM
I agree with you - I guess some Ridgewood Moms think alike! Here is a guy who is on the road before 6am probably to beat traffic to get to work, or he is a Dr. or nurse getting to the hospital early or some other very benign activity. He stopped for a cup of coffee and left his car on - probably not the wisest activity, but certainly not warranting what happened to him. If he were my husband, relative, colleague or neighbor, I would be sympathetic. Let's keep perspective and let the "punishment" fit the "crime".
jp1 June 18, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Melvin Freedenberg June 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Years ago, there was a mailbox at the Ridgewood Bus Terminal whereby a driver could deposit his mail without leaving his car. The mailbox was in a bad spot and not really convenient for the driver as the mail would have to be unloaded from the passenger seat. So, the mailbox was removed. Now, the mailbox with a drop off spot is located at the side of the main post office. You must get out of your car. I often stop there, leave the car running, get out of the car, take about ten steps and deposit my mail. As the spot is a drop off spot, I believe shutting off the car and locking the doors would cause a car backup as more time would be required to accomplish the simple task of putting a letter in a mailbox. I take my chances. So far, so good.
Melvin Freedenberg June 28, 2012 at 12:12 AM
As my car is a hybrid with no key operation, if the car is on and it sits, there is no engine running. Also, with the electronic fob in my pocket, I just wonder what somebody would do to get away with no key and the alarm on the car being activated by me. The car is never out of my sight but there are thieves known as carjackers that might just take a chance.
Harry July 02, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Granted the thief is wrong,but the people that leave all their stuff in plain view and keys in the ignition are plain stupid.
Harry July 02, 2012 at 12:12 PM
I may be wrong but isn't it against the law to leave a car idling for too long? I know buses must shut their engines off if they will be more than 2 or 3 minutes
Wally Van Riper July 24, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Do these idiots get their gas for free? WTF?
Wally Van Riper July 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Melvin....don't worry, no self-respecting car thief would steal a hybrid.


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