South Orange police report increase in motor vehicle-related crimes

Update, 3:14 p.m.: According to Gary Christie, assistant director of Public Safety and Security, the two stolen Jeep Cherokees mentioned in this afternoon’s PirateAlert were owned by students, one of whom lived off-campus and one who is a Turrell Manor resident who parked in the University owned lot across from Turrell.

According to Christie, the last on-campus vehicle theft was two years ago.

“The last reported car theft within the gates occurred March 2009,” Christie said. “In 2008, a Temco cart was taken on-campus for a joy ride, and a food delivery vehicle left running was moved from one lot to another by someone stealing the food.”

Christie said it is not “unusual” for car break-ins to occur on-campus.

“There has been a handful of random thefts from vehicles parked on-campus each year, but this is not unusual given the thousands of cars that come, go and park here each day around the clock.”

The South Orange Police Department has reported an increase of motor vehicles being broke into in and about the streets surrounding the University’s campus, according to a PirateAlert email sent at 1:08 p.m. Friday.

“The targets of these incidents are electronic devices such as GPS systems, laptop computers and other valuable person items left in the passenger compartments of these cars,” the email stated.

In addition to the break-ins, there have been reports of two stolen Jeep Cherokees, according to the email.

One vehicle was parked on Fairview Terrace. It was stolen on March 31, 2011, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., the email said. Another vehicle was stolen from a parking lot opposite Turrell Manor overnight Friday.

The email reminds all community members to secure valuables in the trunk or locked glove compartments in their car regardless of whether they are parked on or off-campus.

“Car doors should always be locked, anti- theft systems such as alarms should always be activated and any suspicious activity should promptly be reported to the authorities,” the email said.

Jessica Sutcliffe can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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