Burglars target Union Co. homes

August 19, 2009 4:02:31 PM PDT
Authorities in Union County are warning of a burglary ring. Between November 25, 2008 and August 6, 2009 the group pulled off at least 27 burglaries and two attempted burglaries, according to Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.

Most of the burglaries have occurred between 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. when homeowners are away.

The burglars move quickly, getting in and out within five minutes. But, each time they have made off with a considerable amount of jewelry and cash.

The majority of the burglaries in Union County have occurred in Berkeley Heights, where 16 have been reported since last November. Westfield, Mountainside and Springfield have also reported similar thefts.

"The suspects likely ring the doorbell to see if anyone comes to the door," said Romankow. "In some cases, when someone answered, the would be burglars made up an excuse that they were looking for someone else and had come to the house in error."

Authorities remind residents that suspicious behavior, no matter how trivial it may seem, should be reported to their local authorities immediately and, when possible, to copy any license plate numbers or distinguishing details from suspicious people in their neighborhoods.

The burglars act with precision, targeting only rooms where expensive jewelry would be kept. In the few cases where alarm systems were activated, the burglars were gone from the scene by the time police arrived.

Romankow urged all residents in Union County, especially those who live in municipalities bordering Rt. 78, to be vigilant and to immediately report any suspicious vehicles or persons to the municipal police departments.

'Like most criminals, we expect they will be caught," said Romankow.

Union County Crimestoppers is also offering a reward of up to $5,000 for the arrest and indictments for the people responsible for these burglaries. All calls are kept anonymous and confidential. Crimestoppers may be reached at (988) 654-TIPS.


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