Police urge residents to lock doors, windows after burglaries
by ERIN ROLL
Police are investigating a series of residential burglaries in Montclair’s southwest corner.
The Montclair Police Department sent out an advisory to residents on Thursday reporting that there have been at least 12 reported burglaries in the Third Ward over the past few months. In at least nine of the incidents, the perpetrators are believed to have entered the residence through an unlocked window or door.
Lt. David O’Dowd said via email Monday that several of the affected addresses are in the area of South Mountain Avenue and its side streets, near the town line between Montclair and West Orange.
“It appears that the suspects are looking through the rear window/door and seeing if any items are in view,” O’Dowd said.
He said that almost all of the incidents have involved an unlocked window or door, and have taken place during the overnight hours. Some of the most frequently taken items include purses, pocketbooks and small electronics, he said.
Some of the recent incidents have included:
• On April 4, there was a report of an attempted burglary to a home on Wayside Place.
• On March 29, police were called to a South Mountain Avenue residence on a report of a burglary, according to the April 6 police blotter. It was reported that three laptop computers had been taken from the first floor of the home.
• On March 22, police were called to a South Mountain Avenue residence on a report of a burglary and theft, and it was reported that cash and loose change had been stolen.
• On March 21, police responded to a Stonebridge Road residence on a report of a burglary; it was reported that a purse containing cash and credit cards had been taken from the kitchen counter, and that there was no sign of forced entry to the home.
In the alert sent out last week, the police urged residents to keep windows and doors locked at night, as well as when no one is at home. The alert also advises residents to be aware of their surroundings, keep valuables out of site, to make sure vehicles are locked at all times, and never to leave an ignition key or fob inside the vehicle.
“These recommendations are not meant to alarm anyone, but a bit of prevention goes a long way when you are home or are away from home,” the alert stated.
Anyone with information about the burglaries or any related incidents is encouraged to call the Montclair Police Department at 973-744-1234 and ask for the on-call detective. To report ongoing suspicious or criminal activity, or in the event of an emergency, residents are urged to call 911.