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Careless Resident Falls Prey to Car Burglar in Franklin Lakes

A King Road resident had a pricey computer stolen from his unlocked 2012 Nissan

A $1,200 laptop was stolen out of an unlocked vehicle in a Franklin Lakes resident's driveway sometime overnight Tuesday, according to borough police.

The incident marks the  that thieves have taken advantage of residents' failure to properly protect their personal property. 

The King Road resident told police that sometime during the overnight hours on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning an unknown individual entered the resident's unlocked 2012 Nissan and helped himself to a laptop valued at $1,200, according to Franklin Lakes Police Lieutenant John Bakelaar.

The crook was likely long gone by the time the resident discovered that he had been victimized.

King Road is small street — just two-tenths of a mile long — tucked away between High Mountain and Summit Avenue. The road is less than a mile from Summit Avenue's connection to Route 208.  

Just last week Franklin Lakes Police reported that two borough residents were the victims of thieves targeting unlocked cars.

One woman had her unlocked 2007 Toyota Highlander sometime overnight on Thursday or Friday last week, according to Bakelaar.  

In a separate incident, a Colonial Road resident reported to police Sunday that someone entered her unlocked Subaru, which was parked in her driveway and made off with her purse.

The thief got away with approximately $325 worth of goods, including passports, $75 cash, keys, a credit card, driver’s license and a bank debit card.  

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

John A. Unglert August 16, 2012 at 08:38 PM
It is becoming a joke now. When you know you should lock your car and you don't, you get what you pay for. But people seem to be too lazy, too inattentive and just downright stupid these days. In 1953 I can see my grandfather telling me to be sure the doors were locked, and that was at home. I guess the text message or the cell call was much more important. Maybe they can afford to replace $ 1,200.00 laptops at a whim. I know I cannot. "Serve's 'em right".
Kathie Grosso August 17, 2012 at 10:08 AM
Let's not forget the person who stole the goods is to blame, the owner is the victim of a theft. Unlocked cars and homes do not give someone the right to steal. No locks or dead bolts can stop evil behavior. Being careless is not a crime, people are not perfect, lives are complicated and sometimes people forget.
MER August 17, 2012 at 11:23 AM
I agree. While people should always lock their cars and houses, the real issue is that there are people coming in and prowling our neighborhoods looking for these opportunities. It is much easier for cops to shake their heads and remind people to lock their cars than to go out and catch the perpetrators.
AML August 17, 2012 at 02:20 PM
This is absolutely preventable and the owner is to partake of the blame. Yes, people do lead busy lives, but they need to employ common sense, even though common sense and carelessness are not crimes. They are inviting criminals to enter their cars, their homes, by making it easier for them since they are not locking up their cars/homes. Chances are that a criminal will bypass cars that are locked and will proceed to the next target. If you are making it easier for a criminal then you are equally to blame. I cannot feel sorry for your so-called victims as no harm was done to them; a material object was taken because of their carelessness. I would feel sorry for a homeowner if a criminal broke into their locked car/home, or, if someone were injured by a criminal. Those are true victims.
AML August 17, 2012 at 02:39 PM
MER How can the police catch the perpertrators if the criminal act of breaking into a car did not take place? Your statement said "it is much easier for cops to shake their heads and remind people to lock their cars than to go out and catch the perpertrators. If the people were not stupid, careless, and inviting, then chances are that the criminal would have waked away. Just to clarify, I am only talking about people who do not lock their car doors. Once the car has been entered (not broken into, as the carowner made it easy for the criminal), & a valuable item was taken, it then becomes a crime. At that point, the police will then look for the perpetrator. The police cannot stand guard at each & every homeowner's car/home waiting for a criminal act to occur. The world if filled with not so nice people and criminals; that is a fact of life. Carowners & homeowners must take responsibility & exercise caution to protect themselves & their properties. Of course, it is easier for them to shirk their portion of reponsibility onto the criminal & police. Of course the criminal is reponsible without a doubt, but the carowner needs to share in the blame as well. Would you leave all of your windows and doors open of your home/car open, including your driveway door open on a daily basis, or, if you were away on vacation? Would you let the mail/newspapers pile up on your lawn? I would think that you would take precautions. I rest my case!


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