A new burglary trend in Mahwah has police increasing their patrol units at hotels, shopping centers and other large parking lots in the township. According to police, thousands of dollars in merchandise has been stolen from parked cars in lots around Mahwah.
Over the past month, eight burglaries from cars have been reported in the township, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said. Most of the cars were parked in hotel parking lots along Route 17, but one was in the A&P shopping center parking lot on Franklin Turnpike, Batelli said.
Typically, thieves will “punch out” the lock on a car, and ransack the interior, glove compartment and trunk looking for merchandise, police said. In two instances, thieves even stole the rims and tires from the cars.
According to Batelli, the car parts stolen were worth over $14,000, and other stolen items taken from the cars - which includes cash, wallets, cell phones, laptops, calculators and other electronics - were worth thousands more.
The thefts are generally taking place between 11 p.m. and the early morning, and high end cars, like BMWs and Infinitis, are mostly being targeted, police said.
Police said they have dusted the cars for fingerprints and are reviewing surveillance footage from the targeted hotels and businesses as part of their ongoing investigation. Batelli said police believe the majority of the incidents are related to one another.
In addition to increased patrol units, police are also conferring with agencies in neighboring towns, who Batelli said are experiencing similar thefts.