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Window Smashed, Pricey Designer Purse Stolen From Locked Car

Lt. Thomas Kmetz says sometimes locking the car isn't enough and advises drivers to refrain from leaving valuable items inside.

Hopatcong Borough Police say a Coach handbag was discovered missing early Friday morning from a locked vehicle parked in a residential driveway in the 300 block of Lakeside Avenue, according to a department statement.

Lt. Thomas Kmetz said police received a report of the incident Friday just after 6 a.m. The victim told authorities she parked and locked her vehicle in her driveway at 7 p.m. Thursday. At 6 a.m. Friday, she found her passenger side window smashed and her Coach pocketbook gone.  

Kmetz said the case offers a warning to residents.

"Please do not keep valuables in your vehicle," Kmetz urged. "What the criminals are doing is walking at night trying to open car doors.  Those that are unlocked, they go in and steal what is laying around. One person we caught had a sock full of change from all the cars he went in. 

"Now picture a pocketbook," Kmetz continued. "To a thief it is like winning the lottery. Though the car was locked, the window was broken because it was worth the risk of someone hearing the noise to get to the pocketbook."

He said this is an important message to share during the holiday shopping season, noting that leaving presents in the car is "more of a temptation to break in." Kmetz cautioned that vehicles should always be locked. 

"And for those of you who leave your car unlocked and put your car keys under the front seat,  it is just a matter of time before your car is missing," he warned. "Just take the few seconds to make sure you home and vehicle are secure before you leave them."

Anyone with information regarding the Lakeside Avenue burglary is asked to contact Hopatcong Police at 973-398-5000.

Karen Oliva December 14, 2013 at 06:48 AM
Well, I live in the '300 block' of Lakeside Ave, but certainly don't own a Coach purse, and why anyone would leave one even in a locked car is beyond my understanding. Sorry for her loss though.
Josh Dubnick December 15, 2013 at 08:02 AM
It almost sounds like Lt. Kmetz is blaming the victim. While we can't expect the police to be everywhere and we certainly wouldn't want to live in a town that was swarming with police, we do have a right to expect to be secure in our homes and our property. While we do have to be reasonably diligent when it comes to our own security, the fact is that the ONLY person who should be blamed here is the criminal who broke into the woman's car. The criminal must be put on notice that he (or she) is indeed a criminal and that when caught he or she will be prosecuted. The police advising residents not to leave valuables in their cars is not helpful (homes are broken into as well). Our community--residents, politicians and police should be telling criminals that they are not welcome here.
Tammy December 15, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Hi Josh-Lt. Kmetz isn't blaming the victim. If you read the HPD Facebook page you will see that quite often when posting about a crime Lt. Kmetz will offer advice about how to prevent this sort of thing from happening to you. We should do whatever we can to make things more difficult for criminals to steal or vandalize the things we've worked hard for. In addition, our police department does a very fine job of letting criminals know that they are not playing. What the judges and prosecutors do afterwards is out of their hands.
Jim Copeland December 19, 2013 at 09:28 AM
This is where IREPLICA.COM comes in.Someone steals your Hand Bag and except for your stuff you just don't care.Even "Coach" cant tell the difference.

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