Burglars Target Three Homes in Millburn-Short Hills

Two front doors were forced open, jewelry, lap-top and iPad among missing items.

Millburn police reported on Monday that three residential burglaries occurred in the township on Friday evening.

Police were called to an Elm Street home in Millburn at 7 p.m. by the homeowner who discovered the front door to his home open. A police investigation revealed that there was evidence of forced entry. An undetermined amount of jewelry was missing.

Thirty minutes later (at 7:30 p.m.), police were called to a home on Pine Terrace East in Short Hills where the homeowner had discovered that the front door had been forced open and a laptop and iPad had been taken.

At 7:34 p.m., the same evening, Police were called to Roland Drive in Short Hills, where the homeowner found that the front door of his residence had been forced open and an undetermined amount of jewelry had been taken.

Millburn detectives were assisted by the K-9 Unit of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department in searching for suspects.

Anyone with information that might be useful in the investigation of the case is encouraged to call the police department at 973-564-7010.

Gman March 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Okay ...if they are reading...Bring your best...you will need it. That is if you CAN read. I seriously doubt that they get their SURVEILLANCE info from the patch...but who knows?
P_R_PC March 27, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I think we need to fix our broken town council first, including how we select our mayor...then restructure how we utilize our police force. It starts at the top and our top is broken.
John Fonseca March 27, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Unless the town council is issuing specific tactical and strategic directives which would nullify the MPD chain of command, how would they be responsible for the performance of the police department? Aside from them saying, "Chief, go stop the crime and catch the criminals", what actual control do they have on who's doing what? I for one would not like to wait until all of the town government is voted out and replaced to have the break ins stop. We'll all run out of good stuff to have stolen.
Gman March 27, 2012 at 04:58 PM
Whoa people..Stay on target here. For what it is worth- .I have seen the police throughout the Wyoming area for sure. They have a presence and they are't looking for people texting( which there are plenty) driving or twiddling their thumbs. There have been strangers observing our kids, stealing cars and breaking in homes. Before we try to right all that is perceived wrong with our town (check and comment on the appropiate article) lets start by offering (yeah volunteering) the police our full support and ask what we can do to effectively thwart or aid to catch the bad guys? I am not talking about groups of us with Louisville Sluggers here. Maybe those that are home during off hours can keep a watch for an hour say every other block....until those of us that work get home. Something along those lines...All the town council talk or realigning the law enforcement is not the answer for immediate action.
Joanne Smythe March 27, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Lee, isn't it a stretch to expect residents to actually do something, when they find it a challenge to lock their doors, keep garage and porch lights on at night, and close the blinds? It's as if they live in Ohio circa 1950, not a care in the world.
J S Beckerman March 27, 2012 at 06:04 PM
The Pine Terrace incident happened between 530p and 7p last Friday with the locked front door kicked in, so locking doesn't always work.
Joanne Smythe March 27, 2012 at 07:07 PM
True, but as noted numerous times in these police blotter threads, the irresponsible people leaving things unlocked, and their properties dark at night, attract criminals to the township.
John Fonseca March 27, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I would venture to guess that all three of the incidents in this particular blotter installment happened before dark based on the times they were all reported. Porch and garage lights would have been useless to stop these. There was no mention of unlocked front doors and there were no unlocked cars mentioned in this one, either.
S Nicole March 27, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I live in the Baltusrol/Pine Terrace area. I work from home and walk my dog at all times during the day via different routes around the neighborhood. SInce reading about all the break ins (cars and now homes) I have my phone/camera ready to take photos of "things that don't belong here". Should I run across someone breaking in, my German Shepherd is all too ready to take a bite out of someone if given the command. Not sure if I look forward to testing out his abilities.
James March 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM
I would love to know what proportion of the invaded houses have alarm systems. Are alarms any deterent to these thugs or waste of money/ a false sense of comfort?...
S Nicole March 28, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Depends on the alarm system... ours is loud and notifies the PD immmediately and they respond very quickly. I do believe alarms are a deterent... if turned on like they should be. If an alarm sign is on the property, who would take such a risk? (Ok, sometimes a stupid question). Rather ask, if you were a criminal, who or what street would you rob? Neighbors who are never home or don't care to notice or you have inside information. They would most likely not break into my house, my neighbors and I are coming and going all day long. As well, a large GSD in the dining room window might deter some. Homes are canvased by these a*holes, not robbed by chance walking down the street. Could it be your landscaper? Your housekeeper? Your housekeeper's boyfriend or someone else they may know who could give them inside info? Just a thought....
Joanne Smythe March 28, 2012 at 12:41 AM
That these three particular crimes occurred during daylight hours was never in question. What is also not in question, in my eyes, is that our irresponsible neighbors have, through their actions, been inviting criminals into our town for many months. The criminals have accepted the invitation, and are now looking for more than a GPS or Macbook Pro left on a front seat.
John Fonseca March 28, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Wow. As a Hispanic person, I'm similar to many of the landscapers, housekeepers, and housekeeper's boyfriends that you identify as possible information gatherers for the burglars in your later post. I supposed that makes me a "thing that doesn't belong here". If I see a woman with a German Shepherd walking around I better have my hands in plain sight with my ID out and smile for the picture. To be perfectly honest, I'd rather have someone walk off with my Leica collection than have to be informed that a concerned citizen was under arrest and her dog was going to be destroyed because she ordered it to maul a burglar on my doorstep. Thanks but no thanks. Community participation is one thing. Vigilantism is another.
S Nicole March 28, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Dear Mr. Fonseca, Should you be breaking down your front door or busting through one of your front windows as we happen to pass by, my apologies should my dog possibly bite you in the butt. I am sorry that you have read my statement as such bias, as I happen to know many hispanics whom are friends. I do believe that these robberies are not all just random; they sound to be somehow related or canvased. As I read other blogs on this site, I find more "statements" or complaints, rather than people actually "doing". I prefer to see myself as someone who looks out for the community and knows what's going vs. a "vigilante" as you put it. I walk/run with my dog because he needs exercise, not because I want to harm anyone or "spy" on anyone. Me and my dog are very intune with our community. Again, my apologies for any misunderstanding.
John Fonseca March 28, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Ok, so first you say: 
"Should I run across someone breaking in, my German Shepherd is all too ready to take a bite out of someone if given the command. Not sure if I look forward to testing out his abilities." and now you say: 
"I walk/run with my dog because he needs exercise, not because I want to harm anyone or "spy" on anyone." These statements seem to be at odds with each other. Which is it? Are you going to aim and fire your dog like a weapon or do you not want to harm anyone? If I'm working on one of the front windows or the door or some other maintenance and you lose control of your dog because he finds my activities to be threatening and he bites me, it'll take more than your apologies to resolve the situation: 
http://dogbitelaw.com/statutory-strict-liability-state/new-jersey.html As for me interpreting your "Should I run across someone breaking in, my German Shepherd is all too ready to take a bite out of someone if given the command. Not sure if I look forward to testing out his abilities." statement as you making plans to be a vigilante, it would seem to fit the Wikipedia definition of the word: "A vigilante is a private individual who legally or illegally punishes an alleged lawbreaker, or participates in a group which metes out extralegal punishment to an alleged lawbreaker."
Xavier March 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM
You actually have a trained to kill dog? I have a doberman but she doesn't kill/attack on command. Did you send him/her somewhere military for that type of training? I don't think you know much about dogs or dog laws.
Gman March 28, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Let me get this straight: we have gone from the burglaries ..to fixing the township, insinuating law enforcement mismanagement, an apathetic constituency,racial profiling, and lack of dog law knowledge...from suggestions of people who care. I hope all those strolling our town carry cameras, and photo suspicious activity. The "what ifs" over an aside, demonstrates too much time on ones hands and deters or stifles others from making suggestions.
John Fonseca March 28, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Lee, don't forget that we also know where you live and that the burglars should bring their best. :) What fun would it be if people only made sensible comments on news articles? This thing is actually pretty tame compared to comments on Yahoo News or sites like the Post or Newsday. Seriously, what could someone say about the original article here? 1. This is bad 2. We should take reasonable and appropriate steps to safeguard our home and property 3. The police should take whatever reasonable and appropriate steps to stop this criminal activity.
S Nicole March 28, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I take back my apology. Mr. Fonseca, you are an angry and petty man and have solidified what I have been told. Look away, mind your own business, it only leads to trouble. What a shame!
John Fonseca March 28, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Ah, the ad hominem. The last resort of a failed argument. So, I'm all these things that you're calling me because I pointed out that two of your statements are incongruous with each other and that one of them falls squarely under the definition of a word I used to describe it? 1. You communicated your plan to order your dog to attack someone who appeared to be engaging in a B&E. You were curious to see his capabilities. If you actually did this you yourself would be breaking the law and you would put not only the subject of the attack at possibly extreme risk, but you and your dog would also be at risk. What if the suspect is armed? What if your dog is REALLY good and kills the guy? I don't think that self defense would cover you when the guy may not have even noticed you if you walked by and the house being broken in to wasn't yours.
M OKeef March 28, 2012 at 07:45 PM
The above comments explain why a Neighborhood Watch Group should only be founded with the advice/sanction of the local police. The Township Committee could show real leadership by championing Neighborhood Watch as everyone understands the police cannot be everywhere at once or they could make alternative suggestions. But we have developed a serious crime problem in our town and it should be addressed soon, and vocally, by our local leaders. You can see from the comments above, apparently things can easily get out of hand between neighbors with different viewpoints -- let's reserve the negative aggression for the robbers ok folks? Lets work together to make our community as safe as possible.
MOMSH March 29, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Patch Editors --- would it be possible to ask the Mayor for some kind of response to all this crime? Breaking into unlocked cars in the middle of the night when stupid people leave laptops as an invitation on the front seat is one thing. Busting down front doors in broad daylight is quite another! I work at home and am actually frightened should someone try to break in my house while I'm in our basement office! I now set my alarm all day long, not just at night, and light up my house like a xmas tree.
MOMSH March 29, 2012 at 05:02 PM
In addition, can the Police PLEASE provide some facts and figures regarding # home break-ins, and method of entry? Were alarms on at the time? This, combined with the couple of cars approaching young children as they walk home from school, and the guy held up at the train station at gun point, are extremely scary!
M OKeef March 29, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Us too, now have alarm set even when home. :>( So sad. Used to leave all the windows open and enjoy early Spring fresh air but no longer.
Gman March 30, 2012 at 01:01 AM
I heard that... poor animal:(
Lucretia G. March 30, 2012 at 01:27 AM
A responsible pet owner can never be too careful. My GSD had a very sensitive stomach.
MOMSH March 30, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Interestingly, I just looked through the Summit Patch archives and saw almost no robberies at all. I think there may have been one back in Jan. In Livingston, there were several home robberies in Jan. which occurred at around 6-8pm via robbers smashing back windows/patio doors. The witnesses said there was a sportscar with dark windows and someone inside waiting in front of the house. One of the attempted robberies happened in the morning and was thwarted by the housekeeper (man range bell, and when she did not answer, he went to back patio door and threw a brick through it!). Housekeeper called 911 and man was caught. I wonder if our police are working with other towns nearby to see if there is a pattern here? Net - looks like SH/Millburn is hit a LOT more than the other towns, so what are they doing to stop this?
M OKeef April 18, 2012 at 07:34 PM
So glad your family was not home and is safe. BUT AGREE residents should not have to worry about their safety while being home alone in the middle of the day or night. I'm glad they caught the car burglars but home invasions worry me alot more.
Laura Griffin April 19, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Thank you for alerting us to this one. We have not seen this report yet. That's unsettling, to say the least.
Laura Griffin April 19, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Just FYI for searches: There's a difference between burglaries and robberies so if you look up robberies your search won't be complete. Most of these crimes will be filed under burglaries.


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