A Letter to Bernardsville Residents Regarding Recent Burglaries:
Recently, local news media sources have reported information about burglaries that have been occurring in our area. The fact is that since the beginning of the year there has been a significant increase in reported burglaries throughout Morris and Somerset Counties.
Bernardsville has experienced two home burglaries in recent weeks. Communities located near interstate highways such as Rt. 287 and Rt. 78 continue to provide attractive targets for would be burglars. Being aware of these facts, the Bernardsville Police Department and Bernards Township Police Department previously issued a joint press release to foster citizen awareness regarding steps that can be taken to secure your home and property. Unfortunately, since that time, home burglaries in surrounding communities continue to be reported with alarming frequency.
Home burglaries are Crimes of Opportunity. As such, prevention efforts can have a dramatic impact on reducing the likelihood that you will be the victim of this type of crime. Homeowners should take extra precautions to secure their homes and valuables. One simple thing you can do is to make your home look occupied. This can be accomplished by leaving lights on at night, parking a vehicle in the driveway and taking in the mail and trash cans can go along way to convince a would be burglar to move on.
Employing common sense security measures at your home can also help to prevent you from being a victim. Locking your doors and windows is the first step. If you have not been locking your doors, you are not alone. Then actions such as using exterior lighting after dark, installing solid dead bolt door locks on doors, trimming shrubs and trees near doors and windows and properly using security and alarm systems can reduce your risk for burglary.
You can also take extra precautions such as inventorying your valuables and securing or hiding them in a safe place in your home or other location. You should ask a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your house when you are not there and be sure to notify the police department when you go away on vacation.
Most importantly, you need know that you are an important part of our response to this community wide issue. Residents need to be aware of and keep in tune to your surroundings. Nobody knows your neighborhood like the people who live there. You must report all suspicious activity to the Police Department immediately. Unfamiliar vehicles parked on a street, unknown persons walking in the area, a suspicious phone call or knock at the door, and strange vehicles entering your driveway all need to be reported to police. Provide descriptions of vehicles and persons of concern, the number of vehicle occupants, license plates and the direction of travel. Reporting these incidents will cause police to investigate the source of your concern and possibly detect a crime in progress. I can not overstate the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the Police Department immediately.
Detectives and officers from the Bernardsville police department continue to actively investigate these incidents and are coordinating with other local, County and State Police Agencies. The frequency of police patrols in residential areas has been increased and officers are alerted when burglaries occur in nearby communities. We encourage you, our residents and citizens, to be our eyes and ears in an effort to better secure our community. Thank you for your cooperation with this important community issue.
Further information about protecting your home is available on our website at www.bernardsvillepd.org. You can also visit the below websites for more information on securing your home.
Kevin J. Valentine
Chief of Police, Bernardsville Borough
NCPC Crime Prevention Tip Links
Secure your Home:
Family Vacation Tips