Experts Urge People To Set Timers On House Lights, Bring Packages Off Porch

WYCKOFF, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – As the holidays approach, some would-be burglars are getting more sophisticated.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, police in Wyckoff, N.J. are advising people to be on the lookout for the well-dressed person knocking at your door.

In the past month, there have been four burglaries in Wyckoff and dozens of others elsewhere in Bergen County.

On Godwin Avenue, a well-dressed suspect did what police said savvy burglars are doing these days: knocking on the door first. The woman inside ignored it.

“She didn’t answer the door….But what the individual did then is walk to the rear of the house, smashed out the window,” Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox told Sloan. “She screamed…and then he fled the area.”

Fox said intelligence gathered in other communities show that burglars are becoming more sophisticated by renting luxury cars to get to their destination and dressing well to blend in.

“They see it as a game. What we’ve seen from the advent of videos that are in homes, we really get a good insight when they enter the home and how they act and it’s almost like ‘Ocean’s Eleven,'” Dan Coleman with Creative Solutions told Sloan.

Like in the movie “Ocean’s Eleven,” experts say the would-be burglars play the part by wearing masks and giving each person a specific role.

Police said the moral of the story is that a well-dressed person knocking on your door driving a luxury car could be a burglar.

“We then in those situations encourage our residents, call us because we want to check that person out,” said Fox.

Police said there has been a spike in burglaries with the end of Daylight Saving Time and the beginning of the holiday shopping season because people are getting home after dark and spending the weekends shopping with their families.

Police said you can protect yourself by getting timers on your house lights, bringing boxes on your porch inside and getting a house sitter if you plan on being away for the weekend or longer.

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