Home and car burglaries are on the rise in New Jersey. Here’s how to protect your families.
Car thefts and car burglaries have consistently been on the rise since 2020. Police want to remind residents how to safeguard themselves from criminals.
The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General says that from September to December of 2022, car thefts actually trended down from that same period in 2021 by 13%. But New Jersey continues to see epidemic proportions of car thefts that are directly tied to home burglaries. Law enforcement officials say criminals are breaking into homes to steal car keys.
Bloomfield Police Chief George Ricci says criminals know the go-to spots in homes to find keys. They also stake out communities to find homes with high-end cars.
"Homeowners commonly put their key fobs in either the kitchen or in the foyer where a suspect can break in real quickly, grab the key fob, run out and take your car. What they’ll do is drive around your neighborhoods and they’ll look for high-end cars and they’ll break into the home,” Ricci says.
The chief says Bloomfield doesn’t have a high number of home burglaries but just this summer, a home was burglarized and the car keys and the car were taken. Bloomfield police quickly solved that crime, but the chief says homeowners have to make it more difficult for someone to get into their home or their car.
"Lock your doors, lock your windows before you go to bed at night. If you do have an alarm system, please set it, those couple of minutes you spend in your house can make the difference of your house being burglarized or not,” Ricci says.
Just days ago in Wall Township, homeowners came face to face with a burglar in their living room and even got into a physical confrontation, police say that’s not the way to go.
"We don’t want anyone to confront a burglar. Safety is our primary concern. All these things that are taken can be replaced, our lives can’t be,” Ricci says.
Some other tips the chief gave include lighting your home, not leaving notes on the door saying you’re not home, locking your car doors and hiding your garage openers.