Two Wyckoff families had thousands of dollars of jewelry stolen from inside their homes this month, according to township police.
One resident had four diamond and sapphire rings valued at $40,000 taken from a bedroom closet, and another had a $1,500 gold ring taken from their kitchen, Wyckoff Police said earlier this week.
The $40,000 rings were reported stolen from a Highview Drive home on Sunday, Sept. 23, but discovered missing on Sept. 5, according to police.
The Highview Drive residents had two different house cleaners and attempted to initially solve the alleged theft on their own before contacting police.
The $1,500 ring was reported stolen from a Howard Street home on Tuesday, Sept. 25, and is believed to have been taken earlier in the month when the family had a moving company in their home, police said.
"Unfortunately this happens frequently," said Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox. "In most instances the suspects are cleaning personnel, contractors working inside, carpet cleaners and installers, friends of the homeowners’ children, and many others that are given access to the inside of the home."
According to Fox the overwhelming majority of workers residents in their homes are honest, hard-working individuals, but thefts of this type are often not planned and are simply crimes of opportunity.
"Residents can better protect themselves and their property by securing items of value safely, taking away that opportunity," Fox said. "This is especially important when they have others inside their home with little or no oversight. Both residents this week reported that the jewelry was out of sight and believed safely secured.
"Unfortunately it was not enough. Many thefts of this type happen when rings and watches are simply left out in the open," Fox said.
Fox advised residnts to take necessary safeguards to prevent being a victim.
The recent township thefts are being investigated by Lt. Charles Van Dyk and Det. Sgt. Michael Musto.
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