EXCLUSIVE: Voorhees police car burglaries

VOORHEES, N.J. - December 15, 2009 Voorhees police have seen an upswing in these car burglaries over the last two months and about 95% of the time they say the cars are unlocked.

Action News was exclusively given surveillance footage that shows a thief walking right into the driveway of a Voorhees Township home. First he tries an SUV, it's locked and he moves on. This time he's in luck. He steals an iPod from the console. The video shows him rifling around the front seat, when he's done inside, he pops the trunk to see what else there is.

"In under a minute he's gone through this car. He's open the trunk and gone through the trunk," said Detective Bob Monahan.

Police believe the thief hit 8 other cars early Tuesday morning in Sturbridge Estates. Laptops, iPods, holiday presents, a Coach purse, and sunglasses are among what was stolen. But this is just the tip of the iceberg the problem goes beyond Voorhees Township.

"It's a Delaware Valley problem. It's a nationwide problem."

Detective Monahan explains Voorhees police receive 2 to three calls a day about car burglaries. There's no pattern, no one group involved. It happens in parking lots and on residential streets. There is one underlying similarity though in most cases the cars are unlocked.

In all nine Sturbridge Estates cases the cars were not locked. While smash and grabs do happen Monahan explains it's mostly when valuables are in plain sight. Some drivers not particularly surprised by the burglaries but add we all need to be more cautious.

"I see people often push their lock button twice and it unlocks it," said Barbara Lebidine.

"A lot of people out of work, a lot hurting, take care of families and do things like that," said Frank Johnson.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the surveillance footage or has any information about the burglaries should call Voorhees Township police. They have an anonymous tipline 856-627-7174.

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