State, county, and local law enforcement are reiterating tips and best practices to ward off a wintertime upward trend in motor vehicle thefts in Atlantic County.

According to a release from the county Prosecutor's Office on Monday, from the beginning of 2022 up through March 8, New Jersey State Police statistics showed 95 reports of car thefts in Atlantic County, up from 54 over the same period in 2021, an increase of more than 75%.

The 95 reported thefts so far, covering only roughly one-sixth of the year, would have accounted for more than 22% of the 425 total thefts in 2021.

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Coincidentally, car thefts across all of New Jersey jumped 22% in 2021 over 2020, according to the release, to a total of 14,320 vehicles reported stolen.

And further State Police analysis, the ACPO said, connects the receiving of stolen property with shooting incidents.

Acting State Attorney General Matthew Platkin is reminding the public of several tips to guard against motor vehicle thefts, according to the release:

  • Never leave keys or a key fob in a vehicle;
  • Do not leave a vehicle running unattended;
  • Park in well-lit areas;
  • Close all windows;
  • Hide any valuables;
  • Lock all doors.

Anyone with information about a specific incident in Atlantic County is asked to contact the Prosecutor's Office at 609-909-7800 or via its online tips page, or Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234, 800-658-8477, or its website.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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