New Jersey will add more detectives and prosecutors to a nationwide task force investigating car thefts in response to what Acting State Attorney Matthew Platkin called a “major surge” in stolen cars over the past two years.

The initiative, announced Thursday, also included about $ 125,000 of federal funding for the task force. Platkin said it would help pay for the increase in the workforce as well as the resources the task force is using.

In an interview, the attorney general said the jump in thefts – a 22% increase in 2021 from a year earlier and a 31% jump so far in 2022 – is partly due to an increase in violent crime in New Jersey and around the world . nation.

“We know that a significant number of people who steal cars end up using them in violent crimes, especially shooting, elsewhere in the state,” Platkin said. “We are going to use all the resources we have … and we will aggressively try to prosecute those who steal cars.”

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