✅ Cranford police said there's been a recent spike in thefts of BMWs

✅ BMWs have been stolen from other NJ towns in recent weeks

✅ High-end car thefts were down in 2022 in New Jersey

Are car thieves in New Jersey targeting a different brand of car?

Three burglars were captured on home security video attempting to break into a home on Crane Parkway in Cranford where two BMWs were parked early Sunday morning.

When the burglars couldn’t enter the house through the front door, they pried open a living room window with a crowbar and took several items, police said.

Cranford police said it appeared the thieves were looking for keys to the BMWs.

Police said the attempted thefts are indicative of an uptick in BMWs being targeted by thieves in surrounding towns. They urged residents to lock their vehicles and remove the key fobs.

"In speaking with our law enforcement colleagues throughout the State of New Jersey, it is believed that there is a viable resale market for these vehicles especially when acquired with key fobs," Cranford Captain of Police Matthew R. Nazzaro told New Jersey 101.5.

There is some anecdotal evidence in other recent car thefts.

NJ Car Theft

Recent BMW thefts in New Jersey

Wall Township officials said they arrested three adults and a teen from Newark on Jan. 16 in the theft of a 2015 BMW M5 in June.

A BMW was also stolen from a home on Sunny Pond Court on Christmas Eve after thieves broke in and took the keys.

A BMW was stolen at an Exxon gas station in Roseland on Jan. 4 in broad daylight while the owner was putting air in the tire, according to Roseland police.

Marlboro police chief Peter Pezzullo in December warned that thieves appeared to be targeting BMW X series vehicles but did not offer an explanation.

A Central Jersey law enforcement official told New Jersey 101.5 that one possible reason for the spoke in BMW is that there is a list circulating of the names and addresses of owners.

The official stressed it was only a theory and was open to other possibilities.

Increase in car thefts

More than 16,600 vehicles were stolen throughout New Jersey in 2023, according to preliminary data from the state Attorney General's Office.

That's an increase of 4% from 2022.

The statistics suggest that it's not only owners of luxury vehicles that need to make sure they're locking up. And New Jersey officials are calling out certain vehicle manufacturers for the year-over-year climb.

Vehicles in the high-end category — brands such as Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and more — accounted for just 3,367 automobile thefts in New Jersey last year. Compared to 2022, high-end car thefts were down 20% in 2023.

Previous reporting by Dino Flammia was used in this report.

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