Prosecutor Joins Other Officials in Support of Bi-Partisan Federal Legislation To Combat Vehicle Theft

Prosecutor Carroll, flanked by Sheriff Gannon, comments on the auto-theft problem that plagues our communities and the necessity to apply all available resources to address the issue

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll joined other government officials from federal, state, county, and municipal levels at the municipal hall of Madison Borough, during a news conference to support federal legislation that would assist law enforcement in combatting vehicle theft on Monday, October 17.

Area police chiefs and county sheriffs from the region were also in attendance as a show of support.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced to the United States Congress by Representatives Mikie Sherrill from New Jersey and Don Bacon from Nebraska would provide $150 million in grants over a five-year period to state and local law enforcement, to address and mitigate the number of vehicle thefts, and provide resources for stolen vehicle trafficking throughout the United States. The legislation provides that 70% of the funding will go to the county and local law enforcement with 30% to states being heavily impacted by vehicle thefts and especially the related escalated violence. If passed in Congress, the bill would provide $30 million each year for hiring, equipment, technology, and other resources to target the crime of vehicle theft.

Various Law Enforcement Officials in Attendance

In addition to the federal bill, the recently introduced bi-partisan legislation from Senators Codey and Bucco also received the unanimous support of law enforcement as it addresses the issues of repeat offenders as well as those criminals who recruit juveniles into criminal theft organizations in order to insulate themselves from serious criminal charges. A separate state bill from the Senators also addresses the frightening issue of home invasions and substantially increases the potential criminal penalties for such serious criminal conduct.

During the news conference and following the initial presentation speech delivered by Rep. Sherrill, multiple officials spoke including NJ State Senators Anthony Bucco and Richard Codey, NJ Attorney General Matthew Platkin, Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, and Passaic County Undersheriff Kevin Dickson all spoke in support of the initiative.

Prosecutor Carroll stated that law enforcement sincerely appreciates the legislative efforts to help stem the increasing crime and reiterates the need for community and citizen assistance in stopping these criminal theft organizations. The Prosecutor stated:

“Year to date, 89% of the vehicle thefts in Morris County involve keys/key fobs being left in a vehicle; 61% of these thefts were from residential properties and another 23% from commercial locations. Morris County Law enforcement again reiterates that it is vitally important that our citizens help in stopping these thefts by securing their keys and fobs, and not making themselves and their families easy targets for these opportunistic, and now too often armed criminals.”