WYCKOFF, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A warning has been issued to homeowners in one New Jersey town.
As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, police are looking for a sophisticated group of thieves who are breaking into homes in quiet neighborhoods of Wyckoff, New Jersey.
The suspects are somehow able to disarm hi-tech security systems without alerting police, causing alarm among homeowners in the area.
Police released seven photos from home surveillance cameras, hoping anyone can lead them to the burglary suspects. They said they’re not yet sure if the same people are behind each burglary.
“We’ve had four in a very short period of time. Four in a 10-day period,” said Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox.
In some cases, the burglars climbed through a back window or rear entrance. But in others, authorities said the men kicked in the front door and disabled the alarm system, preventing a signal from going out to the security company.
One of the victims, who didn’t want to show her face on camera, detailed her experience to Smith.
“They push and slammed their body into my door and got in within 30 seconds. And they were out in three and a half minutes,” the woman said.
Authorities said most burglaries happen in less than 7 minutes — far too fast to react to a home security system call.
In this rash of burglaries, homeowners were not home while the masked men stole watches, jewelry and computers — anything that can be sold fast, Smith reported.
“They rush to the master bedroom, scoop up what they can and flee,” Fox said.
Police said since a home alarm system doesn’t stop a thief, it’s crucial for residents to take other measures.
“We can drive through a neighborhood and see every house that is vacant. You want your home to look like every other home in the neighborhood for the time of day it is,” Fox said.
Delia Perretta experienced exactly that as a home invasion victim when she was younger. She said she knows what police often reiterate: that most burglars aren’t looking for a run-in with people, they just want the goods.
“Two gunmen had come into our home and held up my brother,” she said. “They were looking for cash and jewelry and that’s what they got and got out.”
Not only are police asking people to be extra vigilant, they are also asking people to be their eyes and ears and report anything suspicious.
No one has been injured in any of the home burglaries.
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