Basic Information About Burglaries
Posted: May 28, 2014
With the warm weather upon us, the Randolph Township Police Department would like to take this opportunity to provide everyone with some basic information regarding burglaries and thefts.
The best way to prevent yourself from becoming the victim of a burglary and/or to prevent someone else from becoming the victim of a burglary is for residents to be vigilant in their actions and to always be aware of your surroundings.
Generally speaking most residential burglaries, but not all, occur Monday through Friday between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. This is when the vast majority of people are not at home as they are either working and/or running errands.
Most, but not all burglars, do not want to confront anyone and are non-violent. If confronted, most burglars will immediately flee the residence. While committing the burglary, most burglars prefer to get in and out of the house as quickly as possible, usually in less than three to five minutes. However, if they feel comfortable, they will stay longer.
Generally, once inside, the burglar first heads for the master bedroom looking for jewelry, electronics, valuables and money. Please do not keep your expensive jewelry in a jewelry box on top of your dresser along with your valuables and/or money. Take the time to hide the valuable item(s) somewhere in your house and/or secure your valuables in a safe.
Depending on what is in plain view and how comfortable the burglar is, the burglar will move to the other bedrooms and then throughout the home. The burglar is looking for items of value that are in plain view and that are easily removed from the house.
When purchasing expensive jewelry, retain photographs of the jewelry to include any appraisals and/or receipts. When purchasing any other expensive items and/or electronics, retain all of the original purchasing information to include serial numbers. This documentation should be kept in a safe place in your house. This information is crucial to the investigation and it will also assist you in replacing any lost or stolen items.
Remember to lock all doors, windows and to activate your residential alarm system at all times when leaving the home. Even if you only plan to be gone for twenty minutes you should still activate your alarm system. If possible, obtain an up-link cellular back-up for the alarm system. Some burglars will cut the phone lines from the side of the house in an attempt to prevent the central station from receiving the alarm activation.
Also, don’t forget about locking your cars when parked in the driveway and/or on the street in front of your home. Furthermore, do not leave tempting items (GPS systems, iPods, wallets, cell phones, laptop computers) in plain view in your vehicle. The town has experienced a rash of car burglaries in the past in which valuables were removed from vehicles parked in driveways and on the street in front of homes. Typically, these incidents occur more often during the overnight hours.
Report all suspicious persons and/or vehicles immediately at the time observed. All too often, residents wait until hours later and/or days later to report suspicious persons and/or vehicles. This leaves the police department with little to no chance to identify the person and/or vehicle. Try to remember car make/model and/or license plate number.
Most, but not all burglars, work in teams of two or more. One person acts as a lookout and drives the response/getaway vehicle while the others enter the home. Again, you should report all suspicious persons and/or vehicles immediately to the police.
Be a good neighbor. If you do not recognize a person and/or a vehicle in your neighbor’s driveway and/or on your neighbor’s property, and your neighbor is not home, call the police immediately. If possible, write down a description of the actor and the direction of travel while reporting the same. A license plate number would be most beneficial.
If someone you don’t know comes to your door and asks for someone who does not live in your house and/or someone that you have never heard of, call the police to immediately report the incident. Most burglars will knock at your front door first. If no one answers, they will look for an inconspicuous place to force entry into your home, usually in the rear of the house. If someone is home, they will ask for someone you never heard of and/or for directions before leaving the area to find another home. If possible, write down the description and the direction of travel while reporting the same to the police immediately. Also, be conscientious of the fact that the person may be distracting you at the front door while another actor enters the house through the rear and removes items of value.
Have someone watch over your home when going away on vacation. Make sure that the mail is taken in and that the papers are removed from the driveway ASAP. Limit the people that know that you will be away on vacation. If possible, use timers for interior and exterior lighting and/or motion sensor lighting around your home. Leave your emergency contact information with a trusted neighbor and/or friend.
The police department has a vacant home watch list for residents who will be away on vacation and/or for residents who will be away for extended periods of time. The police department, when available, will conduct patrols in your neighborhood and physically check your property. It only takes about five minutes of your time to complete a vacant home card with the police department. If interested, please stop at police headquarters Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to complete a vacant home card prior to going away or read more about the program and download the request form ».
If you suspect that your home was broken into and/or find that your home was broken into, exit the home IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING and call the police immediately. Wait outside for the police to arrive.
Please take the time to share some of this information with your children. This should be done if your children will arrive home alone at times and/or will be home alone at times.
If you have any questions at any time, members of the Randolph Township Police Department Detective Bureau can be reached at 973.989.7015.
Never ever take matters into your own hands and/or confront anyone. Report all incidents to the police department via 911 and/or main police number at 973.989.7000.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and safe summer!
Chief David Stokoe
Randolph Township Police Department