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Wayne Residents Remain Vigilant After Series Of Home Invasions

(credit: Surveillance video)

(credit: Surveillance video)

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WAYNE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Garden State suburb is on alert after a dozen home invasions have left residents feeling under siege.

CBS 2 obtained exclusive video of the masked burglars wanted for breaking into homes, sometimes while families were sleeping inside.

On Friday, CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey talked with victims, including a woman who accidentally scared off the thieves.

“They had masks, goggles, gloves, they had walkie talkies,” said attempted burglary victim Zully Amelung.

Amelung interrupted the possible burglary of her home when she and her daughters came home. Surveillance video showed her SUV going fender to fender with the getaway driver, who took off.

“He drove over the lawn, the curb,” Amelung said. “You could tell he was scared.”

The Wayne Police Department suspects a trio is responsible for some of about a dozen home burglaries in the past month. Wayne Police Chief John Reardon said bedrooms are the main target.

“The price of gold is high,” Reardon said. “Most people keep their jewelry sitting on a dresser or on a night stand, or in a drawer in a bedroom.”

That’s where someone headed inside Lauren Galke’s home on May 26 after breaking through her back door.

“I don’t have a watch, I don’t have one pair of earrings. I don’t have anything left,” Galke said.

All her jewelry and family keepsakes, valued at about $100,000, are gone.

The single mom said the incident has spooked her to the point that she still can’t sleep at her home alone. So she’s drives to friends’ homes at night — her confidence shattered.

“It’s really just a sense of loss. Just a sense of you work so hard and someone can come in at any moment and take it all away,” Galke said.