JACKSON — Burglars got away with $7,000 in cash and tech from a locked car parked in a driveway early Sunday morning.

It was one of several crimes involving a blue Audi that got away.

Jackson police were made aware of the blue sedan with no headlights and no license plates after Manalapan police had attempted to stop them following an incident on Monmouth Road. The sedan was headed west towards Jackson.

Surveillance video showed a blue vehicle driving on Imperial Place where a homeowner had contacted police around 9 a.m. to report that his 2022 Mercedes Benz was broken into on his driveway.

Cash left in the car, a Fendi business backpack, Microsoft laptop, iPhone, Apple Air Pods, and a debit card were stolen from the vehicle. The resident's bank had called that a withdrawal had been attempted from his account using the debit card.

There were no signs of forced entry, the resident told police, who said there were no other burglaries reported.

An hour later a resident on Denton Lane told police he found that his unlocked 2019 Genesis had been moved and was left at the bottom of his driveway. Video from a dash camera inside the luxury vehicle shows it being operated by someone and returned to the house. Nothing was missing from the Genesis, according to the owner.

Gas also stolen

Earlier, a blue sedan left the QuickChek on Leesville Road without paying for $40 worth of gas. The attendant told police that four men in the car were wearing black sweatshirts, black ski masks and black gloves with white markings on them.

An officer en route to QuickChek saw the vehicle, which turned around and sped away on Freehold Road. Another officer saw the Audi hit speeds of 80 mph on Cassville Road as it crossed over into Millstone.

Jackson police asked anyone with additional information about Sunday morning's incidents to call 732-928-1111.

Combatting the increase in car thefts and burglaries

As towns across New Jersey, in both suburban and urban areas, have seen a major spike in the number of motor vehicle thefts over the past couple of years, law enforcement and state government officials have proposed solutions. Officials say the perpetrators are becoming more brazen, targeting not only vehicles but people and homes as well.

Monmouth County officials came together on Tuesday to encourage a statewide move toward stricter punishments for theives.

"We need stiffer penalties. We can not continue with catch-and-release when it comes to vehicle thefts," said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, using a term deriding changes to the bail system implemented under Gov. Chris Christie. "Something needs to be done to stop the madness."

State officials within the past week announced plans to spend $10 million in federal money initially intended for pandemic relief to help more police departments obtain automatic license plate readers.

The high-speed, automated camera systems capture and store computer-readable images of license plates in a centralized database accessible to law enforcement. The technology will be installed at both fixed locations and mounted on mobile units.

Previous reporting by Michael Symons and Dino Flammia was used in this report.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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