No town or region is free from crime, and everyone is well aware of that.
But the number of carjacking incidents recently in New Jersey – including one that resulted in the shooting death of a Toms River native at The Mall at Short Hills – seems to have grown and become more violent.
Just last week, 29 men were charged in the takedown of an international carjacking and stolen car trafficking ring. Twenty-three of those men were arrested, while six more are still being sought.
Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said of the arrests, “This ring we took down was a double threat. Its members committed carjackings that put the public in grave danger, while at the same time, through their fencing and shipping operations, they created demand that motivated others to commit carjackings.”
The investigation lasted 10 months and recovered 160 cars worth more than $8 million. High-end and luxury vehicles were the primary targets.
At The Mall at Short Hills in December, Dustin Friedland was the victim of a carjacking when two men allegedly tried taking his Range Rover from the parking garage. Friedland, a Toms River native, was shot in the head and killed.
Last fall, a Mercedes-Benz was plucked from the driveway of
a Long Valley home in northern New Jersey. During an interview with police, the alleged thieves—from Elizabeth—admitted seeking out nice towns to steal cars from, police said.
Do you feel safe from carjackings or having your car stolen? In light of these situations, have you taken precautions with your vehicle?