Newark Police Will Fine Motorist $250 for Unattended Idling Cars Subjected to Theft

Public officials in Newark announced a crackdown on drivers who leave their cars unattended and idling in an effort to reduce car thefts in the city.

Officials say so far this year, nearly 300 cars were stolen when drivers left them unattended and running.

“That’s 22 percent of all stolen cars,” Ambrose said. “Residents who leave their cars idling for heat need to end this practice if your vehicle is left unsecured.

This is creating a hazard for the car owner and for the community as a whole. Police officers will enforce the law.”

State statue 39:3-70.2 addresses the penalties for leaving cars idling, which is not less than $250 for a single offense.

The statute was designed to cut air pollution, but it is applicable to all idling vehicles, except school buses.

“In addition to the 297 cars left idling, we are seeing a spike in thefts where the stolen car shows no sign of ignition tampering,” Ambrose said.

“We have victims who left key fobs in their cars claiming that they were carjacked to cover their tracks or they say they dropped their keys. This type of false crime reporting also needs to stop,” he added.

With the holidays coming and people rushing around, Director Ambrose asks the public to be more vigilant. Vehicle owners are warned to follow the below precautions to prevent vehicular crimes:

· Install a remote starter so you can warm up or cool down your car without unlocking its doors
· Install a vehicle tracking device to find your car in the event of a theft
· Keep valuables in your vehicle hidden from plain view to deter thefts
· Park in public, well-lit, security-monitored parking areas
·Never leave your car unlocked, even in low-crime areas and neighborhoods
·Keep windows rolled up, even on hot summer days
·Do not leave a spare key in or near your vehicle
· Activate an audible alarm system

Director Ambrose urges anyone with information about any suspicious or criminal activity to call the Department's 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477).

All anonymous Crime Stopper tips are kept confidential and could result in a reward.