New initiatives announced to help stop New Jersey car thefts

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- There was a major move by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday to help stop car thefts.

Thefts are a huge problem across the state, and stolen cars are up more than 35% this year.

The governor is now committing $10 million to suburban police departments to help stop car thieves in their tracks.

In March, Newark Police responded to a call about a person sleeping in a car stolen from Nassau County. Police banged on the window trying to get the attention of the person inside. When the driver wakes up, he slammed into a vehicle and took off.

Murphy announced a $10 million investment to help pay for automatic license plate readers.

The technology will be installed at both fixed locations throughout the state and mounted on mobile units. Police will have the ability to access the information in real-time through a database.

This is a critical tool police officers say as criminals become more brazen, stealing cars that are linked to other crimes.

Acting State Attorney General Matt Platkin announced that he is reversing a policy that prevents police officers from chasing stolen cars.

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