The Middletown Township Police Department is issuing a warning to residents to lock their car doors when parking their vehicles, even at home.
Although not unique to Middletown, the practice of “cherry picking” as referred to by police, unfortunately is a problem township police have been dealing with lately on a more-than-usual regular basis.
“Cherry picking” is when thieves walk through a neighborhood, and go car to car, checking for unlocked doors. Once the thief finds a car that was left unlocked, he or she enters the vehicle and steals items left behind by the owner. Car burglaries are a crime of opportunity that can often be prevented by keeping cars locked.
Middletown police report that recently the areas of Apple Farm Road, off Route 35, Antonia Court, in the Lincroft section of the township, and Hialeah Avenue, located off of Harmony Road, have been victimized. Police reported arresting Matthew Drury, 25, of Emory Court, Lincroft, for the thefts on Antonia Court.
Police are advising residents that the “cherry picking” burglaries appear to be random. No pattern has been identified as implicating one particular section of the township being targeted over another. “Leaving car doors unlocked provides an easy opportunity for those responsible for committing these types of offenses,” Detective Lt. Steve Dollinger said.
The Middletown Police Department patrols neighborhoods on a regular basis and has programs in effect to combat these types of crimes.
However, police are asking that residents take the extra time to lock their car doors and to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods immediately.
Residents can report suspicious activity by calling the Police Department at 732-615-2100 or 9-1-1 for emergencies.