Summit Police Chief Robert Weck has issued a statement to residents warning them about a recent burglary spree in nearby towns, most recently in Chatham. The break-ins were originially thought to be the work of the robbery team known as the James Bond Gang, as reported here in Patch. But, that doesn't appear to be the case, according to authorities.
Below is the letter sent out by Summit police along with tips on how you can protect your home.
Recently, several communities in the area have been experiencing an increase in home and car burglaries and I wanted to take the time to communicate with you about some simple steps you can take to make your home and vehicles less vulnerable.
Some precautions that will help you secure your homes and vehicles:
• Leaving Lights on at Night – the use of exterior lighting does not cost much annually, but is a useful tool to combat potential break ins as well as make your property safer to move about.
• Taking in Mail & Newspapers – leaving these items to collect in the driveway or mailbox give the impression residents are away. If you are on vacation, please contact the appropriate agency and stop the delivery of these items.
• Lock your Vehicles - the majority of incidents involving thefts from motor vehicles were from unlocked vehicles. Bring valuables from the vehicle inside or make sure they are out of sight. If you have a car alarm, activate it.
• Lock Windows and Doors – the use of solid dead bolts on exterior doors as well as checking the quality of your window locks are important in securing your home.
• Street Lights – the Summit Police routinely check for street lights that are not functioning and notify the P.S.E & G. If you have a streetlight out in your neighborhood, report it on the P.S.E & G website.
• Vacation – complete a vacant house form at the Summit Police Department headquarters when you will be away on vacation. Also notify several of your neighbors as well. In many instances, after the fact, neighbors have reported seeing suspicious vehicles and or individuals near homes that had been recently burglarized.
I ask you to report all suspicious activity to the Summit Police Department immediately. Some of this activity may include; unfamiliar vehicles parked on a street, unknown persons walking in the area, a suspicious phone call or knock at the door, and strange vehicles entering your driveway etc.
Providing descriptions of vehicles and persons of concern, the number of vehicle occupants, license plates and the direction of travel will cause officers to investigate the source of your concern and possibly detect a crime in progress. It cannot be overstated how important it is for residents to report suspicious activity to the Summit Police Department immediately (908-273-0051).
The entire Summit community is one of the best resources that the Summit Police Department has and we depend on everyone working together to ensure that the City of Summit continues to be a safe place to work, reside and raise a family.
The Summit Police Department continues to work with other law enforcement agencies with regard to these increased incidents as well as increasing patrols in our residential areas. Rest assured that the members of the Summit Police Department will continue to work day and night to provide the finest quality of police service to the City of Summit.
I thank you in advance for your continued partnership with the Summit Police Department - together we will make a difference.
Robert K. Weck
Chief of Police
Summit Police Department
NCPC Crime Prevention Tip Link