A string of December burglaries—with jewelry taken in most of the incidents—is under investigation by the Bernards Township Police in cooperation with the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office.
Township Police Lt. Mike Voorhees said the forced-entry break-ins shared a similar pattern within the town, but he could not say if they are possibly linked to other incidents in surrounding communities, or other counties.
Jewelry was taken in most of the reported incidents, according to police reports.
Voorhees said the most recent burglaries occurred on Dec. 7. Since then, he said police have "saturated the area" of The Hills, but he noted the housing development is one of the largest in the state.
Voorhees said entry was forced into a locked home on High Meadow Lane in The Hills between 5:52 to 6:48 p.m. that day.
"Someone went in the house, and the alarm sounded," Voorhees said.
A small amount of jewelry was taken from the home, he said. No other details were immediately available, he said.
Forced entry was gained into a Canoe Brook Lane home in the Far Hills section of the township on Dec. 7 between 1:30 and 11:30 p.m., Voorhees said.
Jewelry was reported missing from the master bedroom, Voorhees said. However, he did not have a final list of items reported stolen.
Three similar burglaries occurred in The Hills on Dec. 1 and 2, Voorhees said. Forced entry was gained into the locked homes with a watch stolen from a Battalion Drive residence believed to have taken place between 1 and about 8:50 p.m. on Dec. 1. The front door was forced open and a getaway was made by exiting a rear sliding door, Voorhees said.
Voorhees said he does not have information on what was missing during another forced-entry break-in of a Liberty Ridge Road that occurred between 3:30 to 9:45 p.m. on Dec. 1.
The police report indicated that nothing had been taken when entry was forced into a Battalion Drive home between about 1 p.m. Dec. 1 and about 2:10 p.m. on Dec. 2, Voorhees said.
Voorhees said township police are conducting the investigation in conjunction with the Somerset County Prosecutor's office.
On Friday, Capt. Jack Bennett of the prosecutor's office would only say that there is an ongoing investigation into the incidents.