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Burglaries Spur Police to Urge Vigilance

Bernardsville, Bernards Township police remind residents to secure homes, report suspicious activity.

Police departments in Bernardsville and Bernards Township jointly issued a statement on Friday reminding residents to lock up and take precautions to reduce opportunities for burglaries, which have been reported in Bernards in the last few days.

The recent burglaries or attempts have taken place between 7 to 10 p.m., the statement said.

Lt. Michael Voorhees said the department had received reports of burglaries as of 11 p.m. on Thursday and also on Friday, but he had no immediate details.

Police Capt. Edward Byrnes said an attempted burglary at a home on Clairvaux Court had been reported on Thursday night. He said that the homeowners reported someone apparently was unaware that they were home, and tried to break in. The homeowners told police they did not see anyone and whoever had tried to get in the residence fled, Byrnes said.

The incident was enough to galvanize police to issue a warning to residents, Byrnes said.

A main point, Byrnes said, is, "We want people to call in anything suspicious."

The reminder from both departments said that residential burgaries do occur, even while both Bernards and Bernardsville report low crime rates.

"The summer months are a time when many families travel and spend time away on vacation. Unfortunately, this allows burglars the opportunity to commit break-ins and commit thefts."

Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine said there had been no burglaries reported right before the release was issued, but there were a few incidents reported earlier in the summer.

While generally most residential burglary activity occurs during daylight hours, the release said recent burglaries have occurred in the early evening hours between 7 and 10 p.m.

"The Bernardsville and Bernards Township Police Departments would like to suggest a few crime prevention tips that may make it less likely you will become a victim of burglary/theft," the release said.

Advice from police is:

  • Always lock your residence at all times. Thieves will often target unlocked residences.
  • When on vacation, stop newspaper and mail delivery. Newspapers in the driveway or an overflowing mailbox, suggest no one is home.
  • Put lights and televisions on timers or delay switch when not home.
  • Keep the grass cut when away for extended periods of time.
  • Keep detailed records and inventory of all valuable possessions. Have photos available of items like jewelry and antiques. Keep records of manufacturers, model, and serial numbers for valuable electronics. 
  • Never give personal information over the phone or to suspicious solicitors.
  • When using the internet or social networks, do not give personal details or travel plans.
  • Do not leave empty trash or recycling containers in front of the house for long periods of time.
  • If possible leave a vehicle or vehicles in the driveway.
  • Most importantly, if you see anything you believe to be suspicious, call the police department and ask that the person or situation be looked into. Good neighbors report unusual activity. The police need our residents to be our eyes and ears.

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