Bernards Township Police said they are investigating a report of stolen jewelry during a reported burglary on South Alward Avenue at about 9 a.m. on Thursday, when the homeowner reportedly left the home's door unlocked while walking her dog.
A nearby resident said that she saw K-9 dogs on the street at about 11 a.m., and police were knocking on doors asking if neighbors had seen anything suspicious.
According to police, the alleged burglar walked into the house on South Alward Avenue and removed jewelry from the master bedroom.
"No one was home at the time and the victim discovered the missing jewelry when she returned home from walking her dog," said Police Lt. Michael Voorhees.
He said that police called in K-9 unit from Hillsborough police department to assist in the investigation.
Bernards and Bernardsville police departments had issued a joint alert to residents in August to be careful to lock doors to prevent break-ins and burglaries, as reported in past several months.
According to other police departments, the burglary appears to match the pattern of daytime burglaries seen in Morris and Somerset counties for the past few months. This week, Mendham Borough Police Chief Pat Libertino told residents to lock their doors and set their alarms. Libertino also said that the recent string of robberies were the work of a gang.
According to Mendham Township Police Lt. Vito Abrusci, all of the surrounding departments are working in tandem sharing information and discussing the trends they see.
"It is difficult because this group blends into the community," Abrusci said. "They aren't driving around in a 1995 Explorer. They are driving higher end cars and blending in."
According to Abrusci, his department has been distributing information to the community during back to school nights and reminding residents to set their alarms, put their lights on timers and notify neighbors and authorities if they are going to be away.
"Most agencies will do property checks while you are away. Check with your agency," Abrusci said. "They will usually come by and walk the property and make sure the house is secure."
Mendham Township that has one burglary that has occurred during this flurry of burglary activity and Abrusci said his department is following all leads, and so are all the surrounding agencies.
"We’re mapping things out and trying to find patterns," Abrusci said.
Information in this story is from the Mendham-Chester Patch.