WESTFIELD, NJ — Two Westfield residents whose homes were recently burglarized asked the town council Tuesday night what is being done to end a recent rash of home burglaries.
A resident of Brown Avenue said that his children have had trouble sleeping since their home was burglarized recently and that they are afraid to go into a dark room because they worry that a burglar is inside.
He also said that he has reported to police that he saw suspicious cars on his block with people sitting inside, apparently watching houses, then driving away when he approached. He told the council that he believed this is how the burglars knew when his family would not be home.
Another resident of the same neighborhood told the council that her home was broken into on Dec. 31.
“It’s really a shock to me,” she said. “As a victim, we want something to be done.”
According to the Westfield police blotter, as of Jan. 27 four home burglaries have taken place in town this month — one on Hyslip Avenue, one on Grandview Avenue, one on Moss Avenue and one on Brown Avenue. Items such as social security cards, jewelry and iPads were reported stolen.
In one case, on Jan. 16, according to the blotter a burglar was still at a home when residents returned. The suspect reportedly fled the Grandview Avenue residence on foot toward Clark. Police used dogs to search the area but did not find anyone. Those residents reported about $13,700 in jewelry stolen.
Westfield is not the only town dealing with break-ins, and TAP into Scotch Plains/Fanwood reported on two daytime burglaries earlier this month.
Westfield Police Chief David Wayman responded to the residents at Tuesday’s meeting.
“I am aware of the burglaries that are occurring,” Wayman said. He told them that detectives are exhausting all avenues and working with together with police departments in surrounding towns, as well.
Burglaries typically happen in groups, when professionals come to town and hit several homes then move on to another town, Mayor Andy Skibitsky noted.
Wayman said that he would be happy to come to Westfield homes with detectives and speak to neighborhood groups about crime prevention. To set up an appointment, call 908-789-6074.
Skibitksy added that if anyone sees something suspicious, they should call the police.