N.Y., N.J. law enforcement implementing strategies to combat car theft spike
The NYPD began an information exchange program with N.J. agencies, allowing law enforcement to share information about car thefts across state lines
By Scott R. Axelrod
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Police in Secaucus, New Jersey, are acting to protect residents from the scourge of car thefts by having cameras installed at every location in and out of the town, NBC4 reported.
According to town police, 39 cars were stolen last year, and 23 were taken the year before.
The cameras that are usually found mounted to patrol cars will be used to catch car thieves before they’re able to get out of the town, the report said.
Police will monitor the cameras, which will only be used to capture license plate numbers and not the identity of the person behind the wheel, the report said.
A STRATEGIC SHIFT
Staten Islanders themselves are no strangers to auto theft, which is why the NYPD began an information exchange program with New Jersey police.
Local authorities believe many of the car thieves operating on the Island are originating from and escaping to New Jersey with stolen vehicles that are then used for parts or shipped overseas.
Assistant Chief Joseph Gulotta recently told the Advance/SILive.com that the NYPD has made it a mission to get in contact with New Jersey officials and establish a system to exchange intelligence.
In dedicating a task force of individuals to monitor the collected intelligence, alerts were “placed” on specific vehicles, according to Gulotta.
“If New Jersey has a stolen car, or if people come here stealing cars, or doing burglaries over there, they input that information into our systems,” Gulotta said. “If that vehicle pops here in Staten Island or anywhere in the city, we’re moving. We’re making phone calls to the other boroughs. In Staten Island , if that car comes over, instantly we’re getting on the radio; we’re closing off the bridges, we’re putting mitigation points in places with our Community Response Team in coordination with (the Highway Unit).”
Gulotta said he is also hoping to continue the interstate intelligence sharing to aid in identifying any vehicle involved in a crime, regardless of whether it’s retail theft or burglary.
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