Brazen auto theft in Monmouth County, NJ didn’t have to happen (Opinion)
It’s happening in Middletown. Also in Little Silver. Rumson is getting hit.
High-end cars are being stolen and in a bold fashion, according to police. It’s happening at all times of day and sometimes in broad daylight.
Auto theft has already been an increasing problem across the country and here in New Jersey. But law enforcement says in Monmouth County, thieves have kicked it up a notch in the past week.
“Communities along the peninsula have been getting hit pretty hard recently and that’s the reason for our (social media) blast — just to remind people to be vigilant,” Little Silver Lt. Greg Oliva told nj.com.
Being vigilant means not only being aware of your surroundings, because some of these audacious thefts have happened with the car owner standing just a few feet away.
It also means locking your cars, because in most cases they’re hitting the unlocked ones. Also, these car thieves have been known to be carrying weapons, according to police.
Which brings me to my point.
This doesn’t have to be happening. I wholeheartedly believe that the new pursuit policy initiated by then state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal that went into effect a few months ago is largely responsible for this surge.
The policy tells police if a car is reported as stolen and the driver won’t pull over when they initiate a traffic stop they are no longer allowed to pursue the vehicle whatsoever. The police have to just let them drive away. You can believe thieves know this by now.
So not only is it making things better for professional car thieves, it’s also helping other criminals get away with much more serious crimes. Police departments in New Jersey have reported that armed robbers and even gang members who want to shoot somebody will know to steal a car to use to commit those crimes.
The new pursuit policy makes a stolen car a perfect getaway vehicle untouchable by police. I lay the blame for this squarely at the feet of Gurbir Grewal.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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