Chief Battiloro reports the following notable incidents:
A resident of the 900 block of Cherokee Court reported the theft of his 2017 BMW X5 from the driveway of his residence during the overnight hours. It was determined that this vehicle was left unlocked with its key fob in it at the time of the theft.
The stolen 2017 BMW X5 was subsequently recovered in Newark later that day by members of the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force. It was in the possession of a 16-year old male from Newark, who was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Property. The arrested juvenile was released to the custody of an adult.
A resident of the 900 block of Prospect Street reported that his unlocked 2019 Mercedes Benz was burglarized between the hours of 3:30PM and 4:30PM while it was parked in the driveway of his residence. The resident reported his wallet was stolen from the vehicle’s center console.
At approximately 4:37PM, a suspicious gray 2019 Audi was observed in the private parking lot of Echo Lake Country Club, located on the 500 block of Springfield Avenue. It was reportedly occupied by two males wearing hooded sweatshirts and masks. This vehicle was subsequently observed exiting the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
It was determined that this vehicle was reported stolen earlier in the day from Maplewood. The vehicle was located by the Mountainside Police Department in the area of Springfield Avenue and Route 22. The driver refused to stop and the Mountainside Police pursued the stolen vehicle east on Route 22 into Union before terminating the pursuit.
The occupants of the stolen gray 2019 Audi were likely seeking to burglarize and/or steal an unlocked, high-end vehicle from the parking lot of Echo Lake Country Club. As Chief Battiloro previously indicated, local area country clubs, including Echo Lake, have been recent targets for vehicle burglaries and thefts.
The 2011 Honda CRV reported stolen on July 11 from Doris Parkway was recovered in Newark by members of the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force. It was determined that this vehicle was also left unlocked with its key fob in it at the time of the theft. The stolen vehicle was in possession of a 16-year old male from Newark, who was arrested and charged with Receiving Stolen Property. The arrested juvenile was released to the custody of an adult.
There have been 16 reported vehicles stolen to date in 2021, 14 of which have since been recovered.
Chief Battiloro states the stolen vehicles recently recovered and the juveniles arrested follow the direct investigative efforts of two members of the Westfield Police Department who are currently assigned to the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force. The assignment of these members to the New Jersey State Police demonstrates Chief Battiloro’s ongoing commitment to transcend Westfield’s jurisdictional boundaries and to attack Westfield’s vehicle theft problem at the highest level possible.
However, as Chief Battiloro continually reiterates, unlocked vehicles with keys or key fobs inside remain the key contributing factors in nearly every single vehicle theft. Please take appropriate action to protect your property.
For a more detailed account of police activities, please see the weekly Police Blotter, which is posted every Tuesday on the Westfield Police Department’s website, as well as on their Facebook (@WestfieldNJPD), and Instagram (@westfieldnjpd) pages.