File photo. DEBORAH ANN TRIPOLDI/STAFF PHOTOGRAHER

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

It was a moderately busy year for the Montclair Police Department in terms of stolen motor vehicles, though the numbers of incidents were close to what they had been in previous years.

The department reported 31 stolen vehicles for 2017, Police Lt. David O’Dowd said.

O’Dowd said that there had been 28 motor vehicle thefts in 2016 and 34 in 2015, when asked how 2017 compared with prior years.

However, the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports for those years reported 31 thefts for 2016 and 35 for 2015.

This is the same number of thefts that was reported in 2016, according to that year’s Uniform Crime Report. In 2015, 35 motor vehicle thefts were reported.

This year, several thefts occurred when the vehicles were left unlocked, and in some cases, with the keys left inside.

In at least one case, the vehicle had been left running. On Dec. 19, a 2014 Nissan Pathfinder was reported stolen from an address on Harrison Place, the police said. It was reported that the vehicle’s keys had been left in the ignition. On Dec. 29, a 2015 Ford Escape was stolen, and it was reported that a vehicle key fob had been left in the vehicle.

In early November, police received a report of a stolen blue Ford Edge on Nov. 1, and a stolen red Ford Fusion on Nov. 4. Both vehicles had their keys left inside. There was also a report in August of a Jeep Cherokee being stolen; the keys had also been left inside.

There were at least a few reports of stolen vehicles being recovered. A 2016 Chevy Malibu reported stolen on June 14 was later recovered in Paterson. A 2017 Land Rover Discovery—one of two Land Rover vehicles stolen from the same address on June 15—was later recovered in Newark.

There was also a report that the Montclair police recovered a vehicle that had been reported stolen in another jurisdiction. On Nov. 26, police recovered a BMW that had been reported stolen out of Paterson.