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Residents Asked To Be Proactive In Preventing Burglaries

Personnel from police department, Passaic County Sheriff's Office, and county Prosecutor's Office talk to citizens about rash of recent burglaries and what they can do to protect their families and homes front intruders.

Paying attention, leaving lights on, and communicating with authorities.

Those were some of the tips local and county law enforcement officials shared with about 200 residents at a special public meeting Saturday at regarding the recent rash of burglaries that have occurred in town. Representatives from the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office also attended the meeting.

Wayne Police Chief John Reardon said that officers and members of the have set up a special task force of uniformed and plainclothes officers to patrol areas where suspicious activity has been previously reported. Authorities are using marked and unmarked vehicles to patrol the areas.

“Vehicles you’d never believe are police cars are out there,” Sheriff Richard Berdnik said.

Police stressed the continual need for residents to immediately report suspicious activity.

“Don’t hesitate to call,” said Scott Rappaport, a Wayne resident and a member of the police department’s community policing unit. “The information that you provide us may be the one tip that prevents them from breaking into my home.”

The Wayne Police Department can be reached at 973-694-0600.

Rappaport said that there are three proactive measures residents can take to dissuade people form breaking into homes.

Decrease the chance that burglars choose a particular home to break into.

  • Keeping lights, a television, radio, or another appliance on when on one is home is something authorities said is a simple step residents can take that will make a prospective burglar move onto a darker, quieter house.
  • Lock doors, don’t leave windows open or unlocked, and arm alarm systems.
  • Report any suspicious vehicles or individuals. Be on the lookout for vehicles in neighbors’ driveways that look like they don’t belong there, especially if the front of the vehicle faces the street. This makes it easier for burglars to flee from a property.
  • Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up on in a mailbox or on a driveway.

“We need you to do [these things] on a year-round,” Rappaport said. “We need you to be proactive to protect our homes.”

  • Don’t keep valuables in bedrooms or in typical places. Jewelry boxes on top of dressers, valuables in a sock drawer, or leaving a laptop, cell phone, or tablet out in plain view should be avoided.

“If we make it difficult for them, they’ll go to another house or to another neighborhood,” said Detective Sgt. Ed Akins with the sheriff’s office crime scene unit.

Akins said that phone lines have been cut in previous burglaries to try and prevent alarm systems from notifying authorities a home is being burglarized.

Authorities said that a popular way of gaining entry into a home or gathering information about who lives at a particular residence is through a scam.

An individual will ring a doorbell and strike up a conversation with a resident asking if someone lives there or if they would like repair work or maintenance performed on their house.

Reardon suggested taking note of these individuals, asking them for identification, and to report any suspicious individuals to police immediately.

Reardon also suggested installing motion lights outside and more landscape lighting on properties to deter would be burglars.

Jewelry, money, and electronics are not the only things burglars are looking for. They’re also searching for scrap metal, especially copper pipes.

A woman was charged with burglary after police said she in the Hoffman Grove section of town.

Jeff Mortman, a former Marine, has organized a neighborhood watch group to patrol Howe Avenue, Straten Drive, and other nearby streets. A few dozen people patrol the streets daily in shifts.

“It is going very well,” said Mortman, who regularly sends e-mail out to his neighbors about police activity in the area and other relevant topics regarding home safety. “People are getting to know their neighbors again. They wave to each other when they’re out. We could’ve turned a blind eye to each other but instead we’re helping each other out and it’s really great. We want to keep it going.”

The recent incidents occurred throughout the past seven weeks. Wayne Police initially between late April and the end of May. Several others have occurred since.

The incidents were, at first, concentrated in the lower Valley section of town, but eventually spread to other streets, including Ratzer and Alps Roads.

Two Hackensack men after a resident discovered them in his Fairfield Road home. Police searched for the men for hours after the initial incident; two other men eluded authorities.

The men used what Berdnik called a “drop-off” technique. The men reportedly entered the home while another man waited in a car outside the home.

People were home when a few of the attempted burglaries occurred in Wayne. No one was hurt in any of the incidents. 

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

eyes wide shut June 25, 2012 at 01:05 PM
@unrealthistown; Crime is not a fact of life huh? WOW..Where do you live in Iceland? Lets see, jails are overcrowded for what reason? Back log in courts? Name me a country and a city that does NOT have a police dept? Show me a prison that is empty. And you say i live in a box? LOL If stupidy were concret, you'd be route 80
unrealthistown June 25, 2012 at 01:51 PM
So I guess this is how the WPD justifies there salary in the good ole town of Wayne, You can't not compare a yuppie town such as Wayne when the worst crime was a bunch of kids get into a fight or 15 police cars chasing an old man driving a pinto down rt80. Crime is not a fact of life it is a business for government with there privatized prisons filled with African Americans that tax payers fund and towns make money to send inmates to. Why do you think they did away with the death penalty, They make more money keeping the maximum security inmates alive. And when Christie ordered a cut in the prison systems they cut all the rookies and gave massive overtime to upper level guards which were making over 400k a year IN OVERTIME lol!! Unreal, Who is the crook? The entire US Government needs to be overhauled (cut in half) and hopefully we get a real President to do it some day... Now go do your job and catch these guys before someone gets hurt........
Bee June 25, 2012 at 02:24 PM
No disrespect - I just need someone to explain to me why the wayne police need a four year degree to be able to catch a criminal. I think you need to be street smart have possibly grown up around these types of people to have an inner instinct how they operate . Ok so you need to know how to write a good report . It takes four years to learn that? Or do you need to recite the Gettysburg address when you are giving them a speeding ticket?Please don't tell me it's only to justify a big paycheck I hope there is a reason ! My opinion- being street smart goes a long way!
Al Scala June 25, 2012 at 03:12 PM
While it's nice to have members of our police department with college degrees, why would they not hire our service veterans, coming out of the armed forces. I would think that an ex-marine, army or navy veteran would have both the physical and mental training to handle the job of a cop. I believe there is a written test that they have to pass as well as a physical test. I would also think that our veterans would have the instincts required as well.
John Davies June 25, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Get your facts straight, moron. They "caught the other two scumbags" because a police officer checked out the car they were using and it took off, with him in pursuit.
unrealthistown June 25, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Veterans of the middle East conflict / war get pushed to the top of the waiting list. Most towns have a waiting list to become a police officer after graduating the academy. You do not need a 4 year college degree to become a P/O. I know many police officers that can't spell there own name.
Al Scala June 25, 2012 at 06:14 PM
I'm glad to hear that about our veterans. Pushing them to the top of the list is the least we should do for them! Whether we agree on this war or not, we should give them every opportunity to get their lives back to normal. That's probably easier said than done.
unrealthistown June 25, 2012 at 06:27 PM
John Davies You need to get your fact straight MORON, There was no car chase. The home owner assisted and the ones the police were chasing got away
Nose Wayne June 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Unreal, Yes you need a college degree to become a police officer. Why, don't NOSE why.Years ago you just needed to graduate high school. Maybe they want you to be a smart robber finder ?
Nose Wayne June 25, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Al Some of our officers in town are Veterans. One of them I NOSE very well has done several tours of duty. Just had an Ex-Marine as Chief of Police Retire. Some of the most respected officers you will ever find.
unrealthistown June 25, 2012 at 08:01 PM
I guess it depends on what town your in.... I know many police officers I grew up with that do not have a college degree except for detective in Bay Ridge NY... Well if they have a college degree what good is it doing for them? They are being out smarted by the James Bond Gang from Hackensack NJ.. My 2 cents tells me I believe the sanitation department is involved some how... They can easily find out what cars are always home by the routes 2-3 times a week any hour of the day and call from the cell phones they are always on a member of the James Bond Gang to plan the hit..... But who am I?? I am just a grunt tax payer
fboy1932 June 25, 2012 at 09:38 PM
As a vet myself I don't need a free ride, I'm no different than anyone else..If I wanted to become a public servant ie. "Cop" or whatever you wanna call it, Its me who should have gone outta my way to apply, take the test and pass. DONT insult a Vet to offer me, us anything for free. I, myself decided to defend MINE, YOURS and EVERYONE ELSES safety for enlisting in the military. AMERICA is LAND of OPPERTUNITY for all US citizen's. Blame the WHITE HOUSE. If your not intelligent enough rank high on a test, then suck it up and take it again, its that simple:)
Class of 00 June 25, 2012 at 10:02 PM
It's college not collage ..hopefully these criminals don't steal dictionaries bc quite a few of you need to go back and read yours! It's you're not your...and dont say its not school blah blah because you sound like a complete idiot arguing points and typing like a 12 yr old
fboy1932 June 25, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Sorry for not using spell check like you to look as I was intelligent like you...this is sooo funy! hahahahahahah
fboy1932 June 25, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Are you wearing tight panties today? abcdefghijklmonpqrstuvwxyz LMBO!!!!!!!! thanks for the laughs but I must go work to help pay off my sons college tab:) who will hopefully be your Dr. one day:) OMG this is hysterical:)
unrealthistown June 25, 2012 at 10:21 PM
He must be a police officer... Just to be safe I apologize if I offended you by spelling a word incorrectly. Otay!
Bee June 25, 2012 at 10:29 PM
@class of 00- You forgot to add a punctuation at the end of your sentence!
Nose Wayne June 25, 2012 at 10:35 PM
ALL,at this time,Wayne Police and PC Sheriff Department are looking for a burglary suspect on Alps Road between Ratzer Road and Osborne Terrace. He's a White Male about 5 feet 9 inches and is heavily tattooed.CALL 911 if you see somebody fitting this discription in the area. Will keep all informed!!!!
Uncle Ray June 25, 2012 at 10:49 PM
This must be the place for the Housewives of Wayne! Get off your ass and the computer, and go help the cops catch these scumbags before they rob your computer!
Bee June 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I'm going to find him , when I do I'm going to flip a table on him!
Nose Wayne June 25, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Hey Ray, They have to get past the dog. If they make it past the dog,the 38 will kick in.Not going to get past that!!!!
Uncle Ray June 25, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Nose, There's no way they are getting past my dog. He's as mean as they come and allways armed...with a frisbie! Glad to hear that the 5'-9" monster was caught. I did see at least four patrol cars and a couple of unmarked SUV type vehicles speeding up and down Nellis and surrounding streets in the neighborhood. If you blinked you missed it. Great work WPD! I do believe K-9 units were on the job. No frisbies there, for sure... One more scumbag caught, but if this is gang related, which it might be, it's not over. Let the cops do what they do best, help where we can and we can allways deal with the taxes later.
Nose Wayne June 26, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Ray,Don't put the dog away yet. Like you said,people are desparate and if this is gang related,there will be more. These people have big ones to think they can get away with this during the day. Will be seeing him soon on "WORLDS DUMBEST CRIMINALS"
unrealthistown June 26, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Got to give credit where credit is due....Good job WPD!
Nose Wayne June 26, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Wayne Police and Passaic County Sheriff Department get a big ATTABOY today!!!!!!!
Uncle Ray June 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Sure hope there's no 10% allowed on that bail. WPD and County should missplace the keys so this "La Mia Neonata" has no chance of making bail. Charged as he is with all the burglaries, he's got to try to cop a plea by giving up more names. I say hold'em, get more names, then cancle the bail altogether. Don't let this banger walk!!!!!!
Uncle Ray June 27, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Dear Honorable Wiess, This defendant may be the link the WPD and Passaic County, as well as NYC and Bergen County PDs have been looking for. If you honor the innocent victems as well as, all law abiding tax payers of this part of the State, as much as the taxpayers honor your position and rightfull duties, I beg you please to revoke bail on this subject in custody.
unrealthistown June 27, 2012 at 12:56 AM
He has a high bail in two towns (little Falls and Wayne) and out on parole for robbery in NY.
Bee June 27, 2012 at 01:54 AM
He committed a crime while on parole he should not be able to get out on bail ! Why are we being so lenient with him ? He's a Repeat offender. Just think of the lives he put in jeopardy . Police chase ,crashing his car into someone's garage,running through yards if someone was out he probably would have held the hostage.What about the little girl about to go in that playhouse ,what would he have done to her ?The police could have crashed and got hurt possibly killed.What if someone was standing by that garage? Let's clean this country up, get the garbage off the streets!
Michelle Smith July 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM
We can never tell when and where danger will strike. We can never know for sure who to watch out for. All we can do is take precautionary measures if ever there is emergency that may require police, fire or ambulatory assistance. We should have in hand a very effective way of calling for and getting help the soonest possible time. That’s why when I happen to bump onto this application while surfing in the net, I subscribed myself, my kids, my husband, and even my folks right away. It is a download-able application that uses GPS monitoring technology vital in emergency situations so that responders will locate you easily. All you have to do to get help is press the panic button on your phone and assistance is already on the other end. Here, check it out. https://safetrec.com/

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