In Pequannock, Residents Asked for Vigilance Following Burglaries

Crime SceneImage by freefotouk via FlickrOver the past several weeks, a number of burglaries have occurred in Pequannock Township and residents are asked to remain vigilant for any suspicious activity, as an arrest has yet to be made.

Timeline:

  • 7/11 - Police noted (via the police blotter) that there had been an increase in nighttime thefts from unlocked motor vehicles.  The increase occurred during June and mostly targeted GPS systems.
  • 8/11, 4:30pm, Hillview Road - A resident reported a burglar had entered their home via an unlocked door, broken a basement window to gain access, and stolen 2 laptop computers and a WII.
  • 10/16, 12:15pm-11:00am, Village Road - A resident reported a purse and laptop computer were stolen from their unlocked vehicle in their driveway.
  • 10/15 - 10/16, 8:30am-1:20am, New Street - A resident reported a rear door was broken and a laptop as well as several handheld electronics were stolen.
  • 10/20, Harrison Road - Police arrested an emotionally disturbed man (Eric Saccento, 26, Riverdale), who was charged with burglary, theft, and weapons charges.
  • 11/5, Woodland Place - A resident reported $2,500 in jewelry stolen, the burglar broke a rear garage window to enter.
  • 11/7, 7:45am-4:45pm, Cedar Road - A resident reported $10,000 in jewelry stolen, the burglar apparently entered by breaking a window in an unlocked breezeway.
  • 11/4 - 11/15, Oak Ave - A resident reported their Stihl leaf blower stolen from their shed, as well as a screen cut out from a window on their home.
  • 11/11, 9:00pm-10:00pm, Newark Pompton Turnpike - A resident reported burglary of their XBOX 360.


Observations:

  • I am not an expert in crime analysis.  I have some mathematical experience, I have studied statistics academically, but in the end, what is represented here is only my personal opinion.
  • Criminal events from June, July, and August of 2011 have been included in the Timeline above, however there is no indication that they are related to the more recent burglaries.  They could be, but there's nothing to indicate that they are.
  • The length of time between the burglaries of the Summer and the more recent occurrences could indicate that the recent rate of burglaries is not the norm for our community (the Timeline is a list of all publicly described burglaries in Pequannock in the last 6 months).
  • Though it would be tempting to attempt to draw some conclusions from the common elements of the burglaries (breaking rear windows with a rock, theft of jewelry and electronics), it's difficult to say if these observations are common of the recent burglaries or just generalizations about all burglaries (i.e. the stuff that's been stolen is the stuff that's easy to resell).


10 Things You Can Do:

  1. Lock your vehicles when you are not in them.
  2. Lock your doors at all times, especially since it's cold now and it's certainly more convenient than in the Summer.
  3. Don't leave your vehicle unlocked with gifts in the back during the upcoming holiday season.
  4. Ask neighbors to keep an eye on your home when you are away, do the same for them.
  5. Note the time, date, make, model, and license plate (any of the above or all) of suspicious vehicles.  If you don't want to report them, you can hold on to the information and if something does happen, you'll have it available.
  6. Install a motion detector module on your exterior lights, especially in the back of the house.
  7. Lock your garage or screened in porch.
  8. Remember to lock your windows and especially your basement windows.
  9. Keep lists of serial numbers, descriptions, etc for your valuables so that in the unfortunate event that they are stolen, they may be recovered when sold and the burglar tracked down.
  10. Form good habits:  If you leave your doors unlocked occasionally, it will tend to become a habit.  The same for anything.  Keep good habits about your family's security and don't make exceptions.

This last part is just speculation:  In my observations, I've often seen that drug use and theft go hand in hand.  In this case especially, it appears the thefts may have started out as crimes of opportunity, a way to get quick cash to feed a drug habit.  As the criminal was successful, a method emerged.  Or it could be I watch too much "CSI."  At any rate, I'd advise residents to be even more wary of drug activity in the area, as it's possible a local drug bust could lead straight to our burglar.  It's happened in the past.

Pequannock Police Blotter
Any information about these crimes, please call: 973-835-1700



Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock EnvironmentalHistoric District, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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