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Tenafly police explain how to keep car burglars away

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PUBLIC SAFETY: Tenafly police today reminded vehicle owners that the smartest, cheapest and most effective security devices are your eyes, ears and common sense.

A few weeks back, Tenafly Police Officer Brad Adams came across a 15-year-old boy running along Dean Drive near Englewood border just before 1:30 in the morning.

Adams was concerned for his well-being. But when he talked with the teen, he discovered he was wearing gloves on an otherwise warm evening and carrying a backpack.

The kid at first gave a bogus name but eventually admitted that he’d been trying door handles of cars parked on streets or in driveways, Tenafly Police Capt. Michael deMoncada said this afternoon.

Detectives recovered several stolen items, but they’re not sure who some of them belong to.

All of which leads to a simple public safety warning:

“These types of crimes almost always involve unlocked cars at night,” deMoncada said. “Thieves will typically look for GPS devices, cell phones, wallets, loose change, or anything they can carry away and sell easily.”

Vehicles have been stolen after thieves “found keys or electronic key fobs left inside an unlocked car.”

One happened at the Knickerbocker Country Club last week, when someone took an unlocked 2012 Audi A8 whose owner reportedly also left $900 in cash and a cell phone along with the key fob in the car, the captain said.

Last month, two high-end SUVs valued at $75,000 each were swiped from a Tenafly resident’s driveway after they’d been left unlocked with the key fobs inside. One was a black, 2014 Porsche Cayenne and the other a beige 2012 Range Rover ( SEE: Key fobs left inside, Tenafly high-end SUVs stolen ).

The thieves, who’d apparently been driving around seeking easy targets, checked out other cars in the Old Smith Road resident’s driveway but left them untouched, police said.

“We want to remind our residents to lock their car doors at all times, and report any suspicious activity to the police department immediately,” deMoncada said.

“Despite our best efforts, we rely on our residents to let us know if they see something out of the ordinary.”

In one recent case, he said, a witness spotted a suspicious person in a driveway late at night but didn’t tell police for several days.

In another, a resident discovering a theft “didn’t want to bother us by reporting it,” the captain said.

“Call us even if you suspect someone may have entered your car looking for valuables but nothing was stolen,” deMoncada said. “We take all of these reports seriously, and information like this may be helpful in our investigation.

“We say it so often, but if you see something, please say something. These types of cases are often solved by someone who makes a key observation, simply by being in the right place at the right time.”

He asked that anyone who sees something suspicious call Tenafly police: (201) 568-5100

Car burglary victims, or those who believe they may be, should ask for the Detective Bureau, the captain said.

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