Over the course of the last two weeks, the Newark Police Department has received three reports of thefts of unattended motor vehicles which were left unlocked and running outside of the Wawa store located at 601 Ogletown Road in Newark.
The first incident occurred on Friday 02/09/18 at 0750 hours. The vehicle was left in the parking lot, running and unattended, while the operator went into the store. The operator returned minutes later and the vehicle had been stolen. An investigation into the incident revealed that a black male, wearing a blue and black coat, was observed entering the vehicle and driving it away. The vehicle was recovered at about 1030 hours the same day in Wilmington, DE.
The second incident occurred on Thursday 02/15/18 at 0533 hours. The vehicle was left in the parking lot, running and unattended, while the operator went into the store. The operator returned minutes later and the vehicle had been stolen. During the investigation, officers developed an unknown male subject as a suspect in the investigation. This person was observed wearing a blue jacket with a grey hood, camouflage pants and red sneakers.
At about 1953 hours, on the same date, the vehicle was recovered in the College Square Shopping Center in Newark after it was involved in a crash. A witness observed a black male and a black female running from the vehicle. The black female was described as late teens to early 20’s, 5’2” – 5’4” and wearing dark clothing. The black male was described as 5”10”, late teens to early 20’s and wearing dark clothing.
The third incident occurred on Saturday 02/17/18 at 0608 hours. The vehicle was left in the parking lot, running and unattended, while the operator went into the store. The operator returned minutes later and he observed his vehicle being driven eastbound on Ogletown Road. During the investigation of the incident, officers learned that a black male wearing a dark colored jacket or hooded sweatshirt, camouflage shorts, high white socks and red shoes was observed to be checking the door handle of a vehicle in the lot, that was also left running, but was locked and not stolen. The vehicle stolen in this incident has not yet been recovered. The vehicle is a 2013 brown Chrysler 200 with Delaware tag 144384.
The Newark Police Department recommends that when parking a vehicle, even for just a few minutes, the engine should be turned off, keys removed and the vehicle locked. Unsecured and running motor vehicles are a prime target for thieves who will seize the easy opportunity to take these vehicles. In addition, any suspicious persons who are observed loitering about vehicles in parking lots and trying door handles should be immediately reported to 911.
The public is reminded that pursuant to Newark City Code 20-266, no person who operates a motor vehicle may allow or permit the engine of such motor vehicle to idle for more than five consecutive minutes in any 60-minute period when said motor vehicle is not in motion.
There is no video to be released at this time.
Anyone with information as to these incidents should call Newark Police at (302) 366-7111.
Anonymous text message tips can be submitted by texting 302NPD and a message to TIP411. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1‐800‐TIP‐3333 or via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com, where a reward may be available.