NJ mayor pushes for local law to crack down on rampant car thefts
MARLBORO— In an effort to discourage car theft attempts, which have been a major concern in most New Jersey towns, a Monmouth County mayor has a plan to introduce an ordinance to the municipal council.
Marlboro Mayor John Hornik told News 12 that the ordinance would impose a fine of $1,000 for every attempt a would-be car thief makes.
What is the consequence?
He said he hopes that if the ordinance is adopted, it would discourage the crime. Hornik is also hoping other towns will implement such an ordinance because the more that have it, the more arrest warrants will be issued, and the more criminals taken off the street.
“There were 31 arrests in Marlboro this year, only five were incarcerated in the county. The rest were released,” he said.
If the Township Council adopts the ordinance on Nov.10, it should be in effect by the end of the year.
Marlboro is not the only town that has seen car theft and attempted car theft. There have been many others.
For example, last month, two accused thieves from Minnesota were arrested and charged with stealing a catalytic converter from an SUV in Toms River. Police say the defendants were conducting their criminal activity out of a large white box truck.
In Lakewood, thieves stole dozens of catalytic converters from trucks parked at an industrial park during the Fourth of July weekend. Catalytic converters were missing from 40 to 60 trucks, according to law enforcement.
Federal agents raided a home in Holmdel recently busting a multi-state operation in connection with a catalytic converter theft ring. Officials said the raided home belonged to the head of DG Auto Parts, a company that was among several businesses buying stolen catalytic converters and selling them.
Allendale Police Chief Michael Dillon said shipping cars overseas for profit is one of the main reasons for these thefts. Others use stolen cars to commit more serious crimes such as shootings, robberies, and homicides.
Nearly four months ago, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer called for the creation of a national auto theft task force to crack down on a nearly 17% increase in car thefts from 2020 to 2021.
The problem has gotten worse so Gottheimer met with state and local officials this week to discuss. He called it an “unacceptable” failure on the part of agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to engage with the public about what actions they’re taking.
Both Gottheimer and Dillon agree that the key to curbing the crisis is blocking the cash flow.
Hornik, along with other Jersey mayors and local police departments agree that the public needs be alert, always keep their car doors locked, and take key fobs with them.
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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