Police Urge Residents to Report Suspicious Activity [video]

Local and county officials outline steps to prevent burglaries at public form sponsored by Concerned Citizens of Wayne.

When Pamela Zalusky’s home was burglarized last year, she said it took something from her.

“It used to be my home. I felt safe there,” Zalusky said. “Now it’s just a house.”

Zalusky attended the inaugural meeting of the Concerned Citizens of Wayne Wednesday. The group was recently formed as a result of the rash of burglaries that occurred in the township earlier this year and late last year. 

Local and county law enforcement personnel and representatives from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office, spoke at the meeting.

“It’s a very personal thing when a person’s house is violated like that,” said Wayne Police Chief John Reardon. 

Speakers told residents steps they can take to reduce the risk of their homes being burglarized.

“We need to take a proactive approach when it comes to preventing these burglaries,” said Wayne Police Officer Scott Rappaport, a member of the township’s Community Policing Unit.

Some tips are:

  • Don’t keep jewelry in a bedroom.
  • Check that door and window locks are secure before leaving the house.
  • Leave lights and a stereo on before leaving. Many times, officials said, burglars and scam artists will knock on the door. They may leave if they hear noise inside the house.
  • Take photos of your belongings, especially jewelry. If a burglary does occur, you will have proof of what was stolen.
  • Keep receipts for expensive and important belongings.
  • Bring in newspapers and letters. If you’re not going to be home for a few days, ask a neighbor or family member to collect them for you.

it doesn't take long for someone to become a victim. Officials said thieves can get into a residence, take jewelry, and leave in less than a minute. They are mostly looking for small, valuable items that are easy to carry: jewelry, watches, cameras, and cash. Often, they know right where it is kept.

“The days of people carrying televisions down the street, that doesn’t happen anymore,” said Detective Sgt. Thomas Higginson.  charged two individuals,  and , earlier this year in connection with some of the burglaries.

Porcelli was suspected in numerous other burglaries in Passaic, Bergen and Morris counties. He was arrested after police found him hiding in a storage area behind the  furniture store on Black Oak Ridge Road after receiving a call that a a home on Sheffield Road had been broken into and the burglar had fled on foot.

Farquhar was linked to a burglary because of a fur coat and Christmas gifts police found in his possession. The items were taken from a house Dec. 1.

Officials stressed the need for cooperation and teamwork from residents in combating crime.

“For us to catch them, we need you to help us,” Akins said. “Nothing is too stupid to call us about.”

For more information about crime prevention or to report a crime, call the police department at 973-694-0600 or the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office at 973-389-5900.

Joe Bubba, Jr. March 29, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Great job to everyone in our Concerned Citizens of Wayne group. Thank you to our Law Enforcement Leaders for coming into Wayne for this event. As discussed we will continue this type of outreach effort, covering additional issues in an attempt to shine a light on the issues that matter most to the the residents of Wayne. I was very proud to see 107 people attend our first event! To join Concerned Citizens of Wayne please visit our facebook page.
Wayne's World March 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM
For the amount of cops we have in this town and how much we pay them, couldn't we get some kind of community policing? I realize there is a large area to cover and many entry points into town, but I have yet to see any patrol cars just checking out neighborhoods in the three years since I have been back in Wayne. Can't a number of the police force on duty spend their time during daylight hours cruising the neighborhoods just to be a presence instead of setting up speed traps, harrassing taxpayers and babysitting PSEG projects? Ben Bratton proved that community policing works. May be harder in a large suburb, but valuable nonetheless. What do we have a police force for if they can't catch burglars, the number 1 crime problem for many years now? Ever since the economy shifted to two-income families, burglary has skyrocketed. There has to be a way to combat this.
the dude March 29, 2012 at 01:10 PM
George Zimmerman wants to volunteer.
ELka March 29, 2012 at 01:48 PM
ELka March 29, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Agree. I have had to call the police for drug selling behavior on certain streets. How can I be sure that's what I saw? Because I wasn't born yesterday and the police should be around all of the time. The should be driving around or better still; waliking around. Not likely to happen. Also, anyone with a bass in their car that rattles my windows should be arrested. Don't we have some quiet laws in this town. Does everyone know that you can hoot and holler until 11pm? Try getting your kids to sleep with that. We should stop the noise at 8pm. The ordinance should be addressed.
the dude March 29, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Police on foot patrol to chase the drug dealers off of Wayne street corners....that's what's needed. Make them put away the RADAR and take out the noise meters. Good work there ELka.
Cathy Kazan March 29, 2012 at 04:24 PM
The Concerned Citizens of Wayne forum was about educating the public and raising awareness with regard to safeguarding your home in light of the recent increase in burglaries. This was not about pointing fingers and criticizing. Crime is a fact of life and the police can't be everywhere. We as citizens were informed about what we can do and what programs were available for seniors and victims of crime. If you had attended you could have asked all these questions. I am sorry you missed it. This forum was a very informative and positive event.
Mark March 29, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Hey Waynes World, How can you spew if you don't know the facts...you said.."What do we have a police force for if they can't catch burglars, the number 1 crime problem for many years now?" Apparently you weren't at the meeting last night. The Wayne Police caught and charged numerous burlary crews earlier this year. I think they said there were at least four different crews working in the Wayne Area. From my understanding, all of the arrests were a result of the Fine Patrolman in Wayne making stops of suspicious vehicles and the detectives following up on information provided to them. Get your facts before you spew.
stewart resmer March 29, 2012 at 05:12 PM
no councilperson was in attendance
rob panucci March 29, 2012 at 06:21 PM
just for your information...we've had the same amount of police officers in this town for numerous years now while the town has grown tremendously...they answer in upwards of 35,000 calls in a year...if your ever listened to a ploice scanner you would know how busy they are on a daily basis. Just because you haven't seen a police officer in your neighborhood does not mean they don't check on them from time to time. The tax payers do not pay for the PSE&G jobs...PSE&G do...although I suppose there is a trickle down effect. The facts are this...catching a burglar in the act is rare....and has nothing to do with police in the neighborhoods...it's about being observant neighbors and calling when they see something that just isn't right. Burglars leave very little evidence behind if any...thanks to TV and CSI shows. Thanks to observant police officers being aggressive and stopping cars they help in the fight to prevent crime.
Dory Degen March 30, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The Concerned Citizens of Wayne is a great step in the right direction. Getting organized, raising awareness and working together is the answer to at least control the problem a little better.
Al Scala March 30, 2012 at 03:41 PM
The Concerned Citizens of Wayne is a wonderful platform to help educate our townspeople on issues that our Mayor and Council refuse to discuss.Thank you for taking on this initiative that our Mayor and Council refuse to.
Justice March 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM
What are the excuses (there are none) that our rude mayor and council have for not attending this important function? Does anyone dare to ask? How about anyone from the BOE?


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