RELEASE: Gottheimer, North Jersey Law Enforcement Convene Roundtable to Address Drastic Rise in Burglaries and Auto Theft — Organized Burglary Rings Targeting Indian Americans, AAPI Communities

Mar 23, 2023

Joined by Local Police Chiefs, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, NJ State Police, and FBI

Above: Gottheimer with local, state, and federal law enforcement for a roundtable discussion focused on combating burglaries and auto theft.

NORTH JERSEY — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), a member of the bipartisan Congressional Law Enforcement Caucus, and local, state, and federal law enforcement officers came together for a roundtable discussion. The group focused on actions to combat the concerning rise in burglaries and auto theft across North Jersey — specifically crime targeting Indian Americans and the greater Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. North Jersey is experiencing a spike in burglaries committed by transnational organized crime rings originating in South America.

There have been nearly 100 burglaries targeting the AAPI community in North Jersey between January and March of 2023.

Roundtable participants included Upper Saddle River Police Chief Patrick Rotella and Lieutenant William Lynch; Saddle River Police Chief Jason Cosgriff and Detective Sergeant Ed Riedel; Paramus Police Chief Kenneth R. Ehrenberg, Deputy Chief Rob Guidetti, Captain Frank Scott, Detective Lieutenant Tom Schroder, Detective Matt McGuire, and Detective Nick Luciano; Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Sergeant Chris Lewicki, Sergeant Mike Faltico, and Agent Dmitriy Mazur; Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Captain Marc Metzinger; FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Ratta, Supervisory Special Agent Robert Hanratty, and Special Agent Jimena Noonan; Bergen County Police Chiefs President Chief Robert Chamberlain and Rutherford Police Chief John Russo; and New Jersey State Police Investigator Jenn Cohen, Investigator Erica Cieri, and Trooper Devor Keizer.

Gottheimer’s work to combat crime and keep North Jersey families and law enforcement officers safe includes:

Bipartisan Invest to Protect Act: Last Congress, Gottheimer’s bipartisan, bicameral Invest to Protect Act — to make critical, targeted investments in local law enforcement — passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support. 153 Republicans and 207 Democrats voted for Gottheimer’s bill. The Invest to Protect Act will ensure that local departments have what they need to recruit and retain the finest officers, to provide necessary training, and to invest in mental health resources for officers. Gottheimer is fighting to pass the Invest to Protect Act this Congress.

Combating Auto Theft: Gottheimer has urged the Administration to create a new National Auto Theft Task Force to coordinate federal, state, and local law enforcement efforts focused on combating interstate and international carjacking and auto theft. Gottheimer has also urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to boost security at ports to intercept more stolen cars before they are loaded into containers and shipped overseas.

Clawing Back Federal Dollars to Jersey: Since 2017, working closely with North Jersey mayors, councils, first responders, and police departments, Gottheimer has helped clawed back more than $1.5 million through federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants and nearly $20 million through the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) 1033 Program. These federal investments help ease the burden on town and county budgets, help us lower taxes for our families, and, most importantly, protect our families and first responders.

Below: Gottheimer with local, state, and federal law enforcement for a roundtable discussion focused on combating burglaries and auto theft.



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