Two luxury vehicles were stolen from outside homes in the Rio Vista complex Thursday night, Police Chief James Batelli said.
A 2011 Mercedes Benz E35 was stolen from a driveway on Gregorian Court and a 2009 Acura MDX was taken from a home on Emma Court, Batelli said.
The cars were stolen sometime between 11 p.m. Thursday evening and 7:50 a.m. Friday morning, police said.
Both cars “had the keys either in the ignition or under the seat,” he said.
On Gregorian Court, the thieves first tried to steal a different vehicle that was parked behind the Mercedes, but could not locate the key. The Mercedes was then driven across the front lawn to maneuver it off of the property, police said.
Batelli said similar thefts are becoming an increasing problem across “upscale” neighborhoods the northeast, and almost always involve a car that has a key in it.
Car thieves “look for a key left in the ignition, in the visor, under the seat, or in several instances have used the valet key, which is kept in the glove compartment or owner’s manual,” he said.
According to Batelli, police believe the stolen vehicles are taken to “ocean containers” to be shipped overseas, “where registration procedures are not as stringent as in the United States.”
Residents are reminded by the Mahwah Police Department to lock their vehicles and remove all keys from cars at night.