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Police urge drivers not to leave unlocked running vehicles unattended

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: An Englewood man didn’t think twice when he left his SUV running outside while running into the house to get his kids for school — and neither did most other victims who’ve had their vehicles stolen from them.

The Englewood man heard a crash outside as a thief sped off with his 2001 Toyota Highlander, which later crashed into a bus in Fair Lawn.

“Invest in an extra key or remote start,” said Police Capt. John Valente of Lyndhurst, where no fewer than three vehicles have been swiped from driveways this year. “Don’t leave an unlocked car running in the morning.”

Bergen County is a rich target for car thieves from Newark and elsewhere who case neighborhoods, but police say that’s different from crimes of opportunity that owners create by leaving unlocked vehicles running — even for just a minute.

SUVs are particularly popular but other models are frequently stolen, as well, police say.

Victims not only lose their cars: Vehicle thieves often try to elude police at high speeds — and frequently crash — rather than pull over and surrender.

ALSO SEE: Englewood man crashes stolen SUV into bus in Fair Lawn

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