Blotter: Burglars Target Another Millburn Home

Other crimes last week include attempted residential break-in, theft and auto burglary.

Millburn Police worked a residential burglary and an attempted residential burglary and the case of a two stolen bikes from a residence on Friday, as well as a vehicle burglary and theft from the mall on Thursday.

The owners of a home on Walnut Avenue in Millburn called police after returning home around 6 p.m. Friday, March 9, to find that the glass in the back door had been shattered with a rock and then removed so that someone could get inside.

The police report by Officer Andrew Delrusso states that the closets and dresser drawers had been ransacked and that clothing and jewelry were missing. In addition, a crystal-silverware set was taken from a room off the kitchen.

Delrusso noted that a rock had also been used to break-in to other homes recently.

Earlier that day, Det. Edward Delafuente responded to a call on Berkeley Road at 10:46 a.m. where the resident had noticed a 2-inch by 2-inch square etched into a glass pane on the back door. It appeared that someone had unlocked the storm door and scratched the glass about five inches to the left of the deadbolt. However, the glass was not broken and it did not appear that anyone got inside or damaged the house further.

Also on Friday, a woman came into the police headquarters about 1:15 p.m. to report that two bicycles were stolen from her residence while she had been on vacation the week before. She said the bikes had always been stored in the stairwell of the apartment building where she lives on Route 124 without problems, but when she returned from vacation, she found they were missing. The apartment manager told her he had put them in the storage shed because they were a fire hazard in the stairwell. However, when she went to the storage shed to retrieve them, they were gone. One is a 26-inch Peugeot male racing bicycle, silver with orange lettering valued at $700 and one is a 24-inch female purple bike valued at $400. 

On Thursday, March 8, police responded to a break-in to a vehicle, where merchandise was taken from the trunk and the theft of an iPad from Paparazzi restaurant at The Mall at Short Hills.

In the case of the missing iPad 2, the owner had it with him at the bar where he and a friend were having drinks on Thursday night  but when he turned to leave it was gone and so was the man who had been sitting near them at the bar. Though the iPad2 has a tracking device on it, they had not been able to find it because it has been kept off since it was taken. Video surveillence at the mall did not show anyone leaving with an iPad2.

The car burglary also occurred at the mall on Sunday, where the victim reported that he had been shopping and put merchandise in the locked trunk of his car in parking lot A-1 and then went back inside to shop some more, as his business is to buy American goods and sell them in Europe. When he returned to his car later Sunday afternoon, to put more merchandise in the trunk, he noticed the other merchandise was missing. There was no sign of forced entry into the car, so police surmised that the burglar used some sort of universal key or unlocked the button locks inside the car and then opened the trunk from the inside.

M OKeef March 12, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Did anyone know this? On 101.5 radio show, this week Jersey Boys were discussing home break-ins and whether they should buy a gun for an elderly parent who lived in a neighborhood with increased crime and where a neighbor of one of their parents had been home during a breakin. A caller mentioned they should not buy a gun for such relative because NJ does not have a "castle law" which allows a home owner to defend their home but instead, in NJ, the owner of the house that is being broken into has what is called a "duty to flee to safety" and if said owner injures a burglar, the home owner can be sued for damages by the burglar? Guess all my experiences with this topic are tv shows and movies, but I had never heard of a "duty to flee" and thought everyone had the right to protect themselves in their own home.
J S Beckerman March 12, 2012 at 08:17 PM
NJ, unlike Texas, allows the use of deadly force only if necessary. Texas allows you to shoot first if you think you are in danger. Several years ago, a homeowner in Texas shot and killed 2 burglars [one who was running away outside of the house and was shot in the back] despite the cops being called and telling him to stay put and wait for the cops. He was not prosecuted.
bill March 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM
bad guys 4, Millburn police 0 once again, just like last week.
Joel March 13, 2012 at 12:19 AM
bill....your 4 to 0 comment is sarcastic and meaningless. Why don't you research statistics that compare number of crimes versus number of arrests by crime category and see how that compares to other police agencies?
bill March 13, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Joel...how many arrests have the Millburn police made in the spate of home break ins? Zero, I think, which is as bad as possible, compared to anyone. At what point does the town council stand up and admit that the police are failing to stop the recent crime wave? How bad does it need to get before we demand change? What does the score need to get to for you to want more from our police?
MrJones March 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM
Better protection from a crime in your house is a dog, not a gun. Even a small dog is a good deterrent. In all the incidents above, the residents were not home. And regarding the police, there's a terrible tendency to blame the victim of a house or car burglary. Having had my house broken into and dealing with the police, I can tell you that the attitude is more or less "your stuff is gone, we won't find it". I accept the practical matters of police work and the low likelihood of solving a crime long after the criminials have gone, but there doesn't seem to be any proactive effort to actually catch or deter burglers. The lack of progress on any of the car and house crimes in the town is a real black eye for all of us. Should we just accept that occasional involuntary donations to criminals are part of living in a relatively well-off zip code?
Acton March 13, 2012 at 01:34 PM
The police did arrest someone in connection with last summer's spate of break-ins. Police work sometimes takes time. But go ahead and be angry if it makes you feel better or more miserable. C'est la guerre.
bill March 13, 2012 at 02:43 PM
You are right, I stand corrected, they did arrest someone...last Jun. Is 1 arrest in a year satisfactory for you? And yes, I am angry that they have not really done anything but blame victims and offer excuses. 4 break ins per week is not something the town should be satisfied with.Police are silent except for 1 meeting that was a long list of excuses, and the town committee and mayor have said nothing either. When will people stand up and demand more?
M OKeef March 13, 2012 at 03:42 PM
What most concerns me is people being home during a breakin and there have been multiple incidents reported on Patch (at least 3 or 4) of that happening during the past year. Especially memorable was the Mother with numerous children and it took the police 40 minutes to get there in the middle of the night and apparently the Mother and kids had the "duty to flee"!! Totally absurd in my opinion. We've put in an alarm and are now far more careful. Have a dog. Guess no sleeping with the windows open this Spring. Its a loss for our community.
MrJones March 13, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Is it really a good idea for mother of numerous children to get into a gunfight? I guess it depends on the mother, but my neighbors aren't really the Sarah Connor type. I'm sure you and me both would feel a lot safer if we felt our police were on top of this matter. Any by on top, I don't mean telling us all to lock our doors, hide our valuables and cross our fingers that it's our neighbor that gets robbed and not us.
John Fonseca March 13, 2012 at 04:28 PM
I wonder if this crime wave is really only recent thing starting a year or so ago or if it's been going on for years and only with Patch do we hear about all of these incidents. I do believe that there should be blaming of the victim in certain instances and to a limited extent. If I leave my car in the driveway unlocked with the key in it, then I shouldn't be surprised if it's gone the next morning. We don't live on an island of our own here. There's no force field that prevents criminally minded people from the nearby less advantaged towns from coming here. The police have a job to do and I don't think that watching every episode of Law & Order makes me an expert enough to judge them. We also have our own job of being responsible for our houses and our stuff. I agree with M in having an alarm installed (so long as it's armed) and being more careful. I believe that's more effective and safer than obtaining a firearm. The last thing anyone needs is a shootout in their living room with their family upstairs and stray bullets flying around.
M OKeef March 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Have to agree here, is this a recent crime wave? I feel far more informed with Patch around, although the item would also report on the Police blotter on a weekly basis. Maybe because Patch lets people comment and that has often been very informative and provides deeper information than the police blotter, maybe that's why I feel more informed.
M OKeef March 13, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Not advocating getting a gun ( at least not yet). Maybe one of those "rescue panthers" :>) Guess its the whole mentality the law communicates that shocked/bothers me, almost as if an invader has more rights than the homeowner. Guess the castle law makes more sense to me. If I don't have the right to defend my family and property, I'd at least like to feel the local police will get there in time to protect family/property. And sadly, I am not feeling that confidence. On the other hand, Mr Jones, there was that highly publicized case where a young mother with an infant in her own home shot 2 intruders in Oklahoma (? think that's right location) and I'll bet she sleeps better knowing she has the right to protect herself and her children in her own home. She'd have been in deep trouble had she lived in NJ.
Xavier March 13, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Our neighbor's house was broken into too last week but it isn't showing up here.
Noreen Brunini March 14, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Terrifying and in a neighboring town: Maplewood residents on Academy Street report that three men armed with handguns kicked down the door to their home on March 8 after 10 p.m. The men allegedly demanded money from the homeowners then fled the scene in what is described as a late model, four-door, black Nissan. The incident reportedly took place at 10:25 p.m. http://maplewood.patch.com/articles/blotter-home-invasion-style-robbery-reported-on-academy-street
John Fonseca March 14, 2012 at 12:42 AM
That is absolutely terrifying. I know the police won't say, but I hope they have solid leads besides the ubiquitous car description. I wonder why they targeted that particular house and specifically asked for money. I just looked and I literally have $4 in my wallet. Very glad that no one was hurt!!!
Sigmund March 14, 2012 at 03:05 AM
There has been 15-20 arrests in the last year for the rash of home and car breakins. Learn your facts before you open your mouths.
Nantz March 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Remember when Eakley dropped his gun in the bushes off Rt. 24 and they couldn't open the highway until he found it? Hilarious!
Joel March 21, 2012 at 04:56 PM
Nantz...........your comment about a police officer looking for a gun is far from humorous. Why don't you offer something constructive instead of a demeaning comment?


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