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Wyckoff Home Burglarized, Unlocked Door Likely Helped Thieves

Police chief baffled by residents leaving doors unlocked: "I'm at the point that I just shake my head and say to myself — I don't get it."

Police believe an unlocked door at one Wyckoff residence may have helped make the home an easy target for burglars last weekend.

A Circle Drive resident Tuesday returned home from three days away to find her house had been burglarized while she was gone — jewelry, designer handbags and gift cards were stolen from a second floor bedroom, said Thursday.

The woman called the cops after discovering that the goods were missing.

The police investigation revealed that there was no forced entry at the home, but homeowners said that a rear door of the home is often left unlocked.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox said Thursday that he's running out of ways to tell residents to lock their doors.

"I'm at the point that I just shake my head and say to myself — I don't get it," Fox said. "It's foolish, it's potentially dangerous, and can more easily make you the victim of a crime."  

The Circle Drive burglary comes on the heels of at least two incidents in nearby Franklin Lakes where thieves targeted residents who left their cars unlocked.

A $1,200 laptop was parked in one King Road driveway Tuesday, and another had hundreds of dollars worth of goods lifted from her unlocked car on Sunday.

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

NLTITAN August 17, 2012 at 12:32 PM
You know what? It isn't even worth my time to comment!!!! UNLOCED DOOR!!! She should be happy the whole contents of the house was still there! Dumb robbers!!
Gary Rabinowitz August 17, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Wyckoff PD is justifiably frustrated -- residents should be vigilant and take simple, no-brainer steps to secure their home. At the same time, burglars are prevalent in our community, and while carelessness may make their jobs easier, clearly they're here and will keep coming. Fact is, if all the doors in this neighborhood were locked, we'd likely be reading about a burglary involving a smashed back door or car window. TO be clear, I have always found that the Wyckoff PD do a great job and I applaud their professionalism. They have been "proactive" with this burglary issue (eg, constant warnings, community meeting). BUt I have to ask -- can we as neighbors & the police do more? For example, more random stops of cars, better profiling of burglars (their MO, clues to behaviors and appearance, day of week and time of day tendencies, etc), or is there any link between service providers that these victims use, like common landscapers? Can residents know a little bit more about who comes and goes in their neighborhood? One idea that comes to mind is for Wyckoff residents to boycott door to door solicitors (kids selling candy, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.). Making Wyckoff a "no-go zone" for door to door solicitors would deter them from coming here in the future, and make it easier to thwart the burglar ruse of knocking on someone's door to see if they are home as they'd stand out like sore thumbs (you can always support these folks via the mail or online). Cheers -GXR
AML August 17, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Ditto! Sheer stupidity beyond all human rationale! Extreme stupidity on the homeowner's part for leaving a door unlocked knowing that she would be away for 3 days & just plain stupidity on the burglar's part for not cleaning her out! When will people learn????
Iris September 27, 2012 at 02:33 AM
I once asked an officer in my town asking if someone broke into my home, with my dogs in my house roaming around, is that okay? He told me, "No" because if the dogs hurt the intruder, I could be sued. He told me to take a cloth and stick a weapon in his hands, then the person is in deep trouble...getting rid of the cloth. What about pepper spray...does anyone know? If not, what can a homeowner do to protect oneself? Thank you for any replies.

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