A Long Hill resident reported Wednesday morning that a 2004 Volkswagen Passat was stolen from a Vickie's Place driveway, police said.
It was the latest car theft in a series of car break-ins and thefts in the township, including several other car burglaries that reportedly happened Tuesday night, police said.
Three other vehicles have been reported stolen since the start of December, all three of which were eventually recovered by police in good condition in New York. The Passat reported stolen Wednesday has not been found, police said.
Long Hill Police Chief Dan Hedden said the thieves seem to be targeting items such as wallets, purses, clothing, gift cards, credit cards and GPS units in unlocked cars and stealing cars with keys left in the ignitions or elsewhere in the car.
"We don't believe it's one person that's involved," Hedden said. He said police believe the thefts are connected to thieves who steal cars and ultimately dump them in New York.
Before the report of the latest car theft came in at 10:11 a.m., police already had responded to a separate report from a Rolling Hill Drive resident who saw someone inside their car at 2:17 a.m. Wednesday, police said.
The burglar fled on foot and Long Hill police were assisted by Bernards police and the Morris County Sheriff's Office K-9 unit in searching the area but no suspects were located, Hedden said.
Thieves also reportedly entered and took items from unlocked vehicles located on Shawnee Path and Old Forge Road in the Millington section of the township the same night.
Police are urging residents to keep all vehicles secured when parked in front of their homes.
Hedden said police are actively working on multiple leads. Anyone with information about the crimes can call Long Hill police Detective Sgt. Sean Brown at (908) 647-1800.