Rockville Centre police still investigating 3 stolen unlocked cars


Three vehicles were stolen from the driveways of two Rockville Centre homes last month as police continue to investigate the thefts.

On July 19 at about 6 a.m., a homeowner reported that his 2017 Jeep was gone from his driveway on Berkshire Road. Rockville Centre Police Commissioner James Vafeades said the homeowner left the car unlocked and the keys inside.

A few days later on July 22 at around 9 a.m., another homeowner reported that his 2008 BMW and GMC vehicles were taken from his driveway on Hempstead Avenue. Vafeades said this homeowner also left his cars unlocked and with the keys to both inside one of them.

Those responsible could have been going from vehicle to vehicle checking for unlocked doors and access to the ignition and simply “got lucky,” the commissioner said. Or, he added, they may have known the homeowners.

Police did not know if the incidents were related, Vafeades said, and the investigations are ongoing. Police have the license plate numbers of the stolen vehicles and are keeping an eye on license plate readers across Rockville Centre and other areas of Nassau County. They have also spoken with neighbors for more information.

“Ultimately, the car is often located — usually abandoned somewhere,” Vafeades said. “…Sometimes [the thieves] use it to just get out of town, or for spare parts.”

He called the incidents “crimes of opportunity,” noting that it is less common for people to hotwire cars nowadays. A total of 10 cars have been stolen in the village in the past year, according to police.

There had been no arrests or update in relation to these incidents when the Herald went to press Tuesday, police said.