Rash of burglaries in Mahwah neighborhood

February 15, 2011 3:17:59 PM PST
Police in New Jersey are looking for some fast working burglars.

They've already gotten away with hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry and furs.

It is a neighborhood of mansions on rolling hills in Bergen County.

Police believe a gang of well-orchestrated burglars have hit at least seven upscale homes since October of last year with the latest happening just this past Sunday.

"They look for homes that appear unoccupied: no lights, no cars in the driveway, mail piling up, they're not intimidated by alarms or dogs," said Chief James Batelli of the Mahwah Police Department.

Once inside, Chief Batelli says they unlock several doors and windows for a quick escape in case police arrive.

"They'll spend no more than three to five minutes inside. We believe they time themselves pretty closely. They go straight to the master bedrooms and closets," Chief Batelli said.

They've gotten away with furs, cash, jewelry, and even an entire safe that they dragged through a backyard and into a getaway car.

They've stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cash and high end items.

"Yeah, we're making sure doors are locked, you know everybody's on high alert," said George Soto, a Mahwah resident.

Police are keeping homeowners informed by email, reporting where the burglaries happened, where and how.

"Well there's always someone looking out for strange cars, its not like someone's going to come in here and you're not going to notice it," said Mark Gregorek, a Mahwah resident.

The sooner police get a tip like that, they say, speeds their response time to the neighborhood, which is so close to 202 and I-287, the burglars can be out of the area just minutes after the crime occurred.

Police have recovered some evidence like a boot print and blood that are being analyzed.

"We're pretty confident we're going to apprehend them," Chief Batelli said.

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