Police are warning the public not to leave their cars idling, especially when a child is inside the car. The warning comes after thieves stole an Audi in Tenafly that had an 11-year-old inside.
The theft happened around 11 a.m. Sunday. The driver of the Audi A8 stopped at the Chase Bank near County Road and Central Avenue to use the ATM. Police say the driver left their 11-year-old child inside the car at the time. It was left running, and the doors were unlocked.
Police say a suspected car thief jumped into the front seat of the Audi and drove off. The thief made it to West Railroad Avenue and realized that the 11-year-old was still in the car, according to police. Officials say this is when the thief jumped out of the Audi and got into a waiting SUV.
Authorities say that the getaway car was a black or blue BMW SUV. They say that this is important because earlier in the day, police took calls about a man in a BMW SUV checking car doors to see if they were locked.
High-end cars are easy to find in Tenafly, which is why Bergen County has been targeted by thieves in recent years.
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General says that there has been a spike in car thefts statewide over the last two years. The office says that data shows a 31% increase in car thefts this year compared to this time in 2021. A total of 14,320 cars were stolen in 2021, according to the attorney general.
Officials say that many of these cars were stolen because the key fobs were left inside.
The attorney general’s office is leading an auto theft task force. The attorney general announced in March that more detectives would be added to address the increase in car thefts.