Spike in Car Burglaries Reported in Ridgewood

Items taken – often from unlocked vehicles – range from loose change to laptops.

Continuing a recent trend, numerous car burglaries have been reported in Ridgewood in the last week.

According to Ridgewood police, four incidents alone were reported on Tuesday, Oct. 2.

At about 5 a.m. a Briarcliff Road resident saw a man rummaging through his car, which was parked in the driveway. Police say the man fled when he began banging on the window. Despite police and a county K-9 unit searching the area, no suspect emerged.

On the same day, two North Murray Avenue residents told police they'd been scoped out. One woman told the cops some cash was taken from her wallet, which was left in the car. Another said his vehicle had been entered but did not notice anything missing.

Perhaps needing quarters to park downtown, a thief was reported as having taken spare change from a vehicle on West End Avenue.

Things cooled down a bit until on Monday, Oct. 8 when a landscaping company that had been parked at the vacant Ken Smith Ford property told police someone had broken into two trailers and grabbed some items.

The range of items stolen from often unlocked vehicles runs the gamut, according to police.

"The majority is into unlocked vehicles and items from loose change to laptops have been stolen," cops said last week. "Please make sure your vehicle is locked and expensive items are not in plain sight. Garage door openers left in unsecure cars can also give a burglar access to your home."

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.

Boyd A. Loving October 10, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Insurance companies should not pay out on theft loss claims if there is no evidence of breaking and entering. This would get people in the habit of locking their vehicles and homes pretty quickly.
Long Time Resident October 10, 2012 at 11:00 AM
So what your saying is that the answer to this problem is insuring people lock their cars, not that the criminals should be caught and prosecuted. Really Boyd? I can see a clear and obvious flaw in your logic here......
exfed October 10, 2012 at 11:31 AM
>>So what your saying is that the answer to this problem is insuring people lock their cars, not that the criminals should be caught and prosecuted. Really Boyd? I can see a clear and obvious flaw in your logic here......<< No flaw, failure to secure property when it is easy to do so, should be grounds for denial of a claim. The purpose of insurance is not to allow you to be careless. So this is not blaming the "victim," because they were victims of their own negligence or stupidity. And yes, there should be penalties for those who commit crimes.
maureen October 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM
where is the police presence ? It seems with all the house break - ins and car thefts Ridgewood is open for the taking ? And please don't tell me this ( very ) highly paid department is understaffed .
jp1 October 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I cannot believe that there are still so many dumb people out there that do not lock there cars and homes. Agree with Boyd 100%.
Allen Sr October 10, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I don't care how many cops there are in Ridgewood today vs years ago, no town can afford to have an officer on every street every hour of the day and no one wants to live in a police state. Towns like Ridgewood are wide open because many of our residents are known to be careless with their belongings. Your not going to find many unlocked doors in Paterson but you will in Ridgewood, Ho Ho Kus & Glen Rock.
Elizabeth Cox October 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM
it really is rediculous- who leaves a laptop in a car & unlocked!- learn from others mistakes- lock your cars. they make it really easy these days- it's a called a button!
Ridgewood Mom October 10, 2012 at 12:57 PM
A person's own "negligence or stupidity" may mean that they are not adequately protecting themselves from victimization, but a person cannot be a victim because of "negligence or stupidity." A victim is such because they are victimized.
Moist Cake October 10, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Let me understand your logic.... Are you suggesting the police be on every street in town? If so, yes they are understaffed. Hire more. People who are smart know to lock their doors and cars even in their own driveways. People who think police will just catch criminals in the act are delusional, its called luck at that point.
alger stone October 10, 2012 at 01:58 PM
If your unlocked car is burglarized shame on you. Don,t blame the police for your stupidity
Andrew J October 10, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Stop blaming the victims. Leaving a door unlocked does not ok a crime. A criminal broke the law and violated their rights. It does not matter if they left it out in the open, people do not have a right to just take another's belongings just because it's unlocked. If that's the case, Boyd (and everyone else blaming people for leaving things unlocked) any one of us should have the right to walk up to your property and take anything left out in your driveway or yard. Should insurance not cover that? Some people are targeting our community and neighbors and instead of blaming fellow residents we really should be pressing the police to address this growing concern and coming together as a community to find out how we can keep this from getting worse. This is not new news. Breaks ins have been on the rise over the past several months. Several break ins occurred on our block in Ridgewood that were reported to the police but did not appear on the blotter or the news reports, and according to a comment on a different thread, a LOCKED car was taken from the train station which was not prev published. if you think a flimsy lock on a car or a door is going to stop a determined thief, you are very mistaken. That thin glass on your car or house window won't stop a brick. As they realize Ridgewood is an easy target with lax enforcement the criminals will only get more aggressive with or without seeing a lock. We're already seeing that as the break ins are on the rise.
J.D. Luke October 10, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Yes, it is the fault of the criminals, but not taking some really easy and basic steps to protect your property is simply foolish.
Ridgewood Mom October 10, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Yes. We should all be compassionate for the unfortunate AND we should all be vigilant.
Andrew J October 10, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I agree with you, Maureen. If the town police feel they need more resources they should appeal to the County for more assistance. To the other posters, I don't think anyone expects a cop on every corner, nor expect the police to stop every crime in the act. However, if you were a someone looking to commit a crime, wouldn't a street or community be less appealing to you if you saw a patrol car passing by every now and then? Who knows maybe additional patrols may pull over a car for a traffic violation and it could lead to a break in a case. It's happened before. We ALL pay taxes to support public services like law enforcement. What's wrong with asking for better police response to increasing crime?
Michael Sedon October 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Boyd is right. These criminals are either teens or junkies, and they're looking for an easy mark. They're not walking around with slim jims and lock picks. These people are walking by your cars and checking the door handle. If it's opened they go in and take what ever is in the car. If it's locked, that's too much work and they look for the next sap with an unlocked car with the laptop, wedding ring and wallet full of cash in it. As a reporter I've seen it a hundred times in police reports. "Victim reported that they're unlocked car was entered and a laptop computer and $500 cash was stolen." Obviously the police can't say this dummy left a bunch of stuff in their car unlocked, but that's what is inferred. People just lock your cars. It's real easy, and it deters crime.
Andrew J October 11, 2012 at 12:02 AM
I agree locks deter crime but police can act as a good deterrent too. Lock everything and the bad people go away? What about the recent smash and grabs? There were cars locked near duck pond that had windows smashed. Boyd's insurance argument is ridiculous. By that token, insurers should deny your claim if you fall asleep with a window open and someone enters your home. Take it a step further -If someone is physically injured confronting the perp should he or she not be covered by medical insurance? It's obvious we should be locking our homes and cars but I take issue with an increase in crime in our community with folks and the police happily in denial.
Ridgewood Mom October 11, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Michael, I couldn't help notice the picture of a car on your profile. DId you leave the doors unlocked? :)
News Man October 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM
I have been in Mike's car, and suggest that he hope somebody would take it. It's a classic and worth big bucks and covered under ALL conditions of loss. Even at a planned firesale for parts it's worth big bucks. More than my 1927 Essex.
J.D. Luke October 11, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Andrew J, Boyd's argument stated that coverage should be denied if there's no evidence of breaking and entering. While one might take issue with that stance after considering slim jims and the like, smashed windows such as you describe should stand as fairly clear evidence, no?
Andrew J October 11, 2012 at 03:10 PM
J.D., yes a smashed window would be evidence of a break, but I mentioned that as an example that with thieves around, a mere lock is not enough and as an example that thieves are becoming more aggressive and taking things a step further. I'm not sure why there has been so much resistance from some posters to comments asking for more law enforcement response. As for Boyd's theory, and I won't harp on it beyond this and waste any more of the group's time on it - we all have different opinions and reasons, but beyond the open window example, homeowners can easily get around that by breaking a window and then calling the insurance company. Yes, it's fraud and it's wrong, but it would take about 2 sec for people to realize that that's the solution to such an insurance claim -and there goes any 'punishment' to people who don't lockup. It's easy to just say deny coverage but I can't see how it would even be enforced consistently or serve its purpose (my opinion only) Where would the line be drawn? If someone leaves a garage door open while he is in the backyard for a minute is the garage fair game? What if someone is unloading their car and leaves the trunk open while unloading? How many leave cars warming up in the driveway? Yes people need to be aware and careful and lockup; I'm just amazed at the responses blaming the victims without sounding concerned that crime is on the rise in the community which I see as the bigger issue. Thanks for reading, stay well, EVERYONE!.


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