Wayne Police are investigating a dozen burglaries that occurred in the Valley section of town in recent weeks.
The burglaries took place between April 25 and May 30, reported.
Most of the incidents occurred in the evening. Forced entry into the houses was gained mostly through windows that were pried open.
Jewelry, money, watches, and coins were reported taken from some of the homes. Bedrooms in several of the incidents were ransacked.
A safe was taken from one of the houses and a smaller safe at another house was pried open.
The burglaries were reported on Alps Road, Valley Road, French Hills Road, Brandon Avenue, Sunny Knolls Court, Witkowski Way, Heights Road, Judith Place, MacDonald Drive, Pleasantview Drive, and Louisa Court.
Alarms in two of the homes were not activated, police reported.
Residents reported seeing several suspicious vehicles and individuals in the area of some of the incidents.
“It definitely appears that in the majority of these burglaries they are waiting for darkness to set in, which makes it easier to determine if someone is home or not,” said Detective Capt. James Clarke.
An attempted burglary was reported Thursday on Diorio Court. A homeowner came back to her residence at about 9:40 p.m. and discovered a burgundy sport utility vehicle in her driveway. A startled male drove the vehicle over the curb and out of the driveway, hitting the homeowner’s vehicle, which was partially blocking the driveway.
The homeowner said the bald man had dark skin, looked to be between 30 and 40 years old, and wore a dark-colored shirt.
A surveillance camera at the residence filmed the SUV pulling up to the driveway. Two men got out of the vehicle and walk around the back of the house. The men looked through windows and a sliding glass door before noticing the camera. They appeared to become nervous upon noticing the camera. The report states the men jumped over a fence and into a yard on Fairfield road. The men appeared to be thin and were wearing ski masks.
A K-9 unit from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department tracked a scent from the scene but lost it on Fairfield Road. The report states that the sheriff’s officer believed the felling males were likely picked up by a vehicle and left the area.
Clarke said that it appeared the team of three men used some form of digital communication during the incident, Clarke said.
A homeowner observed a white Honda parked on Moro Terrace facing French Hill Road on April 25; a white male was seen walking on French Hills away from a burglarized home on the street, police reported.
A neighbor of a house burglarized on Witkowski Way reported a large, dark-colored SUV parking on Benson Drive, police reported. The neighbor reported the driver exited the vehicle and hid in the bushes of the burglarized residence before the incident occurred. The driver was described as a white male of average height and weight with thinning hair.
A suspicious vehicle was parked in a driveway on Alps Road at about 9:30 p.m. May 13, police reported. The driver backed out of the driveway when the homeowner turned lights on, illuminating the driveway. The homeowner reported the driver parked the vehicle on Wilson Avenue, walked up Wilson toward the house, and later fled on Wilson Avenue. The man was described as white, in his early 20s, 5 feet, 6 inches tall with a thin build and short brown hair, wearing beige pants and a black, short-sleeve T-shirt police reported.
There were two other attempted burglaries reported on May 23 and 30 and Hamilton Avenue and Valley Road, respectively. Those incidents occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. on both days. In both instances, individuals tried to gain entry into the homes through bedroom windows but were scared away when discovered by homeowners.
Clarke said that the department has been in communication with the Passaic, Bergen, and Morris County Prosecutor’s Offices about the incidents.
The police use digital frequencies to talk with each other, which makes it more difficult for potential burglars to listen in on department communications.
Clarke urges residents to support anything out of the ordinary to police. Residents should call 911 if they witness something happening in progress. They should call the department and speak to a dispatcher to report a possible incident after they think one has occurred. The police can be reached at 973-694-0600.