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Armed Home Invaders Sought in Bernardsville Incident

$5,000 reward offered for information that leads to arrest of two individuals who allegedly burst into Ballantine Road residence.

Two armed males broke into a Bernardsville residence on Ballantine Road on Wednesday night, but fled when they encountered the homeowner, authorities said.

No one was injured during the home invasion, according to a statement released Thursday from Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano.

The prosecutor's office said Bernardsville police responded to a 911 call from a resident reporting a home invasion on Ballantine Road at about 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The male homeowner told police after he heard the front door being forced open, he observed two white males holding handguns at the top of a staircase within the residence, the release said.

Once the men encountered the homeowner, they fled from the residence in an unknown direction, according to the release.

The major crimes unit of the Somerset County Prosecutor's office was notified after the police call to the location, Bernardsville police confirmed. The home is on a street off Mendham Road in the northern section of Bernardsville.

$5K reward offered

Soriano said Crime Stoppers of Somerset County, Inc. is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of the individuals involved.

The first man is described as being white, between the ages of 20 to 30, approximately 5-foot-10 and weighing approximately 175 pounds. He was wearing a brown ski hat, tan zip-up turtleneck sweater and khaki pants, authorities said.

The release describes the second individual as a white male, in his 20s, also wearing a brown ski hat.  

The prosecutor, in conjunction with Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine and county Prosecutor's Office Chief of Detectives Stuart Buckman said Bernardsville Police were assisted by the Peapack-Gladstone, Far Hills, and Bernards Township, the release said.

The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and the New Jersey State Police Aviator Unit also responded and assisted detectives assigned to the Bernardsville police department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Squad, the release said. The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations (C.S.I.) and forensics unit also responded to conduct the investigation, the prosecutor said.

Authorities are asking that anyone who may have observed someone matching the description of the two suspects in the area either before or after the incident should contact the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS(8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE.”  All calls are confidential, according to the prosecutor's office.

Jawce January 24, 2013 at 05:24 PM
there goes the neighborhood!
Bird Dog January 24, 2013 at 08:37 PM
The bad guys had guns??? I bet this homeowner is looking into buying a gun!
Bo January 25, 2013 at 01:31 PM
The homeowner is lucky they fled. This could have gone a different way. THAT homeowner will never think the same when entering his home again or reading his newspaper at the dinner table. That's a crappy way to feel inside the four walls of what should be the most safest of havens. In that moment, no police, no SWAT team could have been there to do anything to help him. He's lucky. NJ has the one of the three strictest handgun laws in the U.S. Bad guys don't abide by gun laws.
Maurice Marvi January 25, 2013 at 01:39 PM
Sounds like he may have had one and not told the police. They ran from an unarmed man?
Rob January 25, 2013 at 04:57 PM
There have been many attempted break in's and unusual activity in Hillsborough and Bridgewater too! Residents need to be careful and stay safe!
Paul Rust January 25, 2013 at 07:49 PM
A shotgun blast or two might have taken them out of service for awhile.
JM January 25, 2013 at 08:38 PM
We need more laws, that will stop them from doing bad... perhaps a ban on crowbars
nb6624 January 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Home invasions should be illegal! Like 10 round mags
Bill Trautman January 26, 2013 at 06:52 PM
NJ residents cannot buy a pellet gun, much less a handgun, without an extensive process to obtain a permit. Apparently, the bad guys do not seem to have a problem.

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