NEWARK — Police are warning residents and especially DoorDash and Uber Eats drivers not to leave vehicles running and unattended.

"Vehicle thefts and auto burglaries can happen very quickly when drivers leave their cars running and unattended," 2nd Precinct Commander Gerardo Rodriguez said in a video on the department Facebook page.

A thief only needs to break a window to enter the car and drive off, Rodriguez said.

Car thefts are up 13% in Newark over 2020, according to Newark police records.

"For-hire food delivery drivers, such as Uber Eats or DoorDash, may quickly become victims if they do not take the few extra seconds needed to turn off their vehicles and to take the keys with them during every delivery," Rodriguez said.

He also said any child left by themselves in a vehicle should be reported to police.

New Jersey law prohibits a vehicle from being left idling for more than three minutes with some exceptions.

Some suggestions from Newark police to avoid vehicle theft:

  • 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

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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