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Map: Multiple Thefts Occurred to Unlocked Cars in Scotch Plains and Fanwood

Since the end of December several GPS units and other items have been stolen from unlocked vehicles in Scotch Plains and Fanwood.


Since Dec. 28, several thefts have been reported in the police blotters for Scotch Plains and Fanwood, mostly to unlocked vehicles. 

Patch has created a map that provides a look at the locations of these thefts (attached to this article). For a more detailed look, visit the map on Google Maps. 

Here's a look at when the thefts occurred and what was stolen: 

Birch St, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 28 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Maple Hill Rd, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 13 an iPod and jacket were stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Cooper Rd, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 15 a mailbox was stolen from the homeowner's backyard. Lenape Way, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 15 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. 190 South Ave, Fanwood: Between Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 a 2001 Honda Accord was stolen from this location. 170 Farley Ave, Fanwood: On Dec. 28 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Cottage Way, Fanwood: On Dec. 28 a bicycle and $20 was stolen from the garage of a Cottage Way home. 200 N Martine Ave, Fanwood: Several Christmas gifts and a pair of sunglasses were stolen from an unlocked vehicle. 40 Cray Terrace, Fanwood: Between Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Highlander Dr, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 2 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Aberdeen Rd, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 3 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Balmoral Ln, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 3 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Sunnyfield Ln, Scotch Plains: On Feb. 3 a GPS unit was stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Clinton Ln, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 1 license plates were reported stolen from a resident's vehicle. Rte 22, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 1 a Route 22 business owner reported several car parts were stolen from his yard. E 2nd St, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 2 a business owner reported someone had broken in and stolen a cash register. Inverness Dr, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 3 a large inflatable holiday decoration was stolen from a resident's front lawn. Katherine St, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 25 a car was stolen from a resident's driveway. Country Club Ln, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 26 two bicycles were stolen from a resident's front porch.

Terrill Rd, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 25 a Terrill Road business owner reported several hundred dollars in cash was stolen overnight.

Cook Ave, Scotch Plains: On Jan. 13 a laptop was stolen from a locked vehicle, but there were no signs of forced entry. 

ralphwiggummm February 21, 2013 at 01:24 PM
Thank you for this inquiry, Ms. Bitette, and for giving us more information with your map of the various crimes around our fair towns. I'm not just some crank trying to stir controversy. I truly think that there is an important story here and that people who live in the neighborhoods where these crimes have occurred deserve to know of the hooliganism that has occurred in their formerly peaceful part of the world. I know that investigative journalism is difficult and costly to pursue, but in publishing this map you have gone a long way toward informing our communities. Now perhaps you might get local and county police to give some input about what your map shows us. Big Kudos for you Ms. Bitette!
Ellen Cagnassola February 21, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Yes this map is very helpful. I think people need to lock their cars always and not leave valuables inisde either.
Fanwood Resident February 21, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Occasionally people will forget to lock their car doors. We had a rash of thefts on our street around Christmastime several years ago. The thief went up & down the street, checking all the cars for unlocked doors and removing anything of value. Our neighbor, who habitually locks his doors, left it unlocked by mistake and had his wallet stolen from his car. He received a call from his bank informing him that someone tried to use his debit card at the Plainfield train station. He tried to get in touch with the Fanwood police with this information, but NEVER received a call back.
ralphwiggummm February 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM
Sorry to hear about more "petty" crime in our community and sorrier yet to hear about how our police responded. Keeping the car doors locked is something I practice, too, but mainly I keep my cars garaged. Still it is sad that so many people think that unless you lock your car doors you are the dishonest one, not the thief.
Piotr P. February 22, 2013 at 02:37 PM
Nicole, this is a terrific map. I hope you'll be able to keep it updated. Thank you so much.
PlainlySee February 22, 2013 at 03:01 PM
I agree that Nicole did an excellent job in creating this map. I also agree that it's not the homeowner's fault for perhaps forgetting to lock the car doors. The police need to beef up some of their patrols. It's also interesting to see how these petty thefts are spread out across the area. Some of these thefts seem outright corny.
SPLifer78 February 24, 2013 at 07:13 AM
Did it ever occur to anyone, particularly our senior law enforcement officials, that some of this nonsense may be the work of a few bored, irreseponsible adolescents, who roam the streets at night looking for some cheap thrills to fill their empty evenings? Nothing like a lttle petty theft competition among friends to get the adrenalin flowing. Don't think it's likely? Think again. I mean, really, used GPS units?!? How much could they be worth at your local pawn shop? Doesn't sound like some organized crime ring to me. Three things make this scenario a possibility: 1) Kids out at all hours of the night in small packs (come on, you've seen them) - with parents who either just don't care about where they are or what they're doing, or are just plain dead from the neck up when it comes to raising children. 2) Kids who could care less about respecting others and their property, and are unable to tell the difference between right and wrong in the absence of a disciplined upbringing. Which brings us back to the parents - see #1. 3) Local police who lack the curiosity, motivation and insight to even consider that this may be the problem. Getting a handle on the youth of our community takes more than just coaching PAL football. Wake up, Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
ralphwiggummm February 26, 2013 at 12:45 AM
You make many thoughtful points SPLifer78. The people (kids?) who have stolen the gps units aren't likely to be found on the baseball field. And maybe the PAL isn't the answer here. Maybe parental control is what is lacking. I know that bringing up a family requires a lot of energy and imagination--at least that was the case bringing up the Wiggettes. It makes me sigh that you have, in all likelihood, solved the crime and the criminals are us...
NJSP February 26, 2013 at 01:59 AM
About 3 or 4 years ago there was a rash of items stolen from unlocked cars in SP over several nights. 2 girls were caught after an alert home owner called SP Police. They were from Newark, gang members. I'm sure you can dig up the details if you do your home work. So kids maybe, maybe not. Same type of items taken, from my car some change and an old digital camera.
ralphwiggummm February 26, 2013 at 11:17 AM
Thank you for that information. Did it take long for our constabulary to bring the brigands to justice?
NJSP February 27, 2013 at 05:41 AM
Officer Wigum, If an elderly person was not looking out of his window at 3am this would not have been resolved. I was not happy to get the letter that informed me that one of the criminals was underage and would be placed on probation. Keep stirring the pot, you are amusing to me.
ralphwiggummm February 27, 2013 at 07:10 AM
just to keep things straight Officer Wigum is my dad. I'm his dimwit son, ralph.

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