Wayne Police have arrested a 17-year-old township boy who they say has been walking around his neighborhood stealing items from residents' unlocked cars.
According to a release from cops Tuesday night, the teen was caught after two phone calls from residents of Tall Oaks Drive and Seneca Trail within an hour of each other Tuesday morning reporting a suspicious man attempting to get into and rifling through parked cars.
When responding Officer Darren Williams spotted the boy on a foot path near Mohegan Avenue, the boy ran through several backyards and into a Tall Oaks Drive home, locking the door behind him, police said. Cops entered the home through the window and arrested him, police said.
The boy went into his house, police said. His parents were home at the time, but apparently unaware of what he had been doing, cops said.
Police said they found other items that had been reported stolen from nearby cars in the boy's room. There have been at least 15 reported car burglaries in the neighborhood over the past three months, police said.
“This is a common problem throughout Wayne Township as well as many other municipalities across the State. There are important lessons for residents to take away from this incident,” Detective Captain Mark McGrath said in the release.
“First is to be vigilant in your neighborhood and do not hesitate to call the police to report suspicious activity and second is to make sure that vehicles are locked when unattended and avoid leaving valuables inside parked vehicles.”
The boy was released to his parents pending burglary, theft, and eluding police charges, McGrath said.