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Proposed Holmdel ordinance targets perpetrators of automobile thefts

HOLMDEL — The Township Committee has introduced an ordinance that will, if adopted, make certain acts illegal by individuals who are planning to commit automobile theft in Holmdel.

During a meeting on Nov. 22, Mayor Greg Buontempo, Deputy Mayor D.J. Luccarelli, Committeeman Rocco Impreveduto and Committeeman Brian Foster voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the ordinance.

One seat on the five-member governing body has remained open since Cathy Weber resigned from the Township Committee several months ago.

The proposed ordinance will be the subject of a public hearing on Dec. 13. The committee members may adopt the ordinance following the public hearing.

In a statement issued after the Nov. 22 meeting, Luccarelli and Impreveduto said, “We introduced a new ordinance that will establish aggressive new regulations to aid in our fight against car thefts in Holmdel.

“Our police department has done an extraordinary job battling against this crisis and we want to commend Chief (Frank) Allocco and the entire team as they work tirelessly to protect our residents.

“But as many of you know, new statewide mandates have limited their ability to fully stem the tide. Simply put, something had to be done.

“So in conjunction with our police department’s efforts and in full coordination with the township attorney and police leadership, we found a way in which Holmdel can take a harder stance against these bad actors striking fear into our community,” Luccarelli and Impreveduto said.

The proposed ordinance will make the following acts in Holmdel illegal:

• Entering or remaining on any driveway, paved surface, or location within 20 feet of a stationary motor vehicle, knowing he or she is not licensed or privileged to enter or remain in that location, and committing any of the following acts:

• Peering into a window of a motor vehicle the person does not own or have license or privilege to possess;

• Pulling a door handle or taking an action in an attempt to open or unlock a motor vehicle the person does not own or have license or privilege to possess;

• Possessing an electronic device that is capable of determining if an electronic key is located inside a motor vehicle.

According to municipal officials, these violations will be punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and imprisonment of 90 days.

“Based on our research, this ordinance is the strongest stance a town has taken against car thefts in Monmouth County.

“We will continue to work closely with our police department to make sure we are doing everything we can to support them and protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents. It’s time for towns like ours to take a stand and we are committed to leading the way,” Luccarelli and Impreveduto said.

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