WESTFIELD, NJ – In back-to-back weekend break-ins, burglars snuck into unlocked houses then stole cash and credit cards while the owners were home, police said Wednesday.
The residents did not encounter the suspects and reported no injuries in the three Saturday night break-ins on Elm Street and Sylvania Place, police said.
Mayor Shelley Brindle on Tuesday asked residents to stay vigilant, noting that in each incident, the burglars took advantage of unlocked doors.
“The criminals took cash, credit cards, and cell phones that were visible on counters, and also stole a car, which has since been recovered,” Brindle said. “Two cars were also stolen in the same vicinity last week, one of which was recovered.”
A burglar stole a $200 cell phone and credit cards from an unlocked home in the 600 block of Elm Street during the Saturday spree, Sgt. Michael Walsh said in an email.
A burglar also stole a 2017 BMW X5 from residents living in the 200 block of Sylvania Place, Walsh said. Entering the home while the owners were home, the burglar took $700 in cash from a wallet and house keys from an unlocked garage, police said.
Also on Sylvania Place, a burglar took keys from an unlocked garage and left a door to the house ajar on the same night, Walsh said. Authorities do not believe the suspect entered the home itself because an alarm, which was active, did not sound, he said.
The three Saturday incidents follow a similar incident reported to police on Oct. 4 when a burglar entering through an unlocked rear door and stole $107 in cash from a wallet at a home in the 600 block of Elm Street, police said.
The burglaries also follow a series of break-ins to vehicles reported last month, prompting acting Police Chief Christopher Battiloro to warn people to lock their vehicles.
Brindle said she has advised police to step up patrols in the areas of town targeted, and municipal officials may be meeting with residents to discuss the criminal activity.
“The perpetrators have not been identified, but I can assure you the police are actively investigating,” Brindle said. “I have asked them to step up their patrols in the neighborhood, and we are discussing hosting neighborhood forums.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at email@example.com; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh