Across New Jersey, there is an epidemic of car thefts. These thefts often involve innercity teens and young adults going into the suburbs and affluent Jersey Shore areas to steal cars to take on joy rides.

Most of the time, the thieves’ job is made easier when the owners leave their key fobs in unlocked vehicles or left running outside a store while you run in for a quick purchase.

The Jersey Shore area has been targeted over the past two years and many times cars are found in inner-city neighborhoods in Newark, Paterson, Trenton, and others. The thieves are seeking a payday or to sell your car, they just want to take it for a joyride or worse, use it to commit a crime.

“Motor vehicle theft isn’t just for joyriding anymore. Your car may be used to commit more serious crimes. Leaving your key fob in an unlocked car or leaving a car running and unattended is an open invitation to thieves who need a vehicle to carry out their criminal agenda,” Platkin said.

You can deter car thieves in a few ways. The first step is to never leave your keyfob in your unlocked car while it’s parked in your driveway. The second step you can take is to make sure your driveway is well lit and lastly, you should consider buying a home video camera system such as a Ring doorbell that activates when there’s movement in your driveway.

The most coveted vehicles are the Honda Accord, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Honda CR-V.

According to acting New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin, thieves favor certain cars over others. Here are the top 12 cars stolen by thieves in New Jersey.

  • Honda Accord
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Honda CRC
  • BMW X5
  • BMW 3-Series
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • Land Rover Range Rover
  • Mercedes Benz GLE-Class
  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X3
  • BMW X6