As several Bergen County law enforcement agencies investigate some recent burglaries in their towns, local residents can take action to prevent their own homes from being targeted.
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The Saddle Brook Police Department noted one such incident in which a resident woke up to the sound of the front door closing around 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 25. After going downstairs to investigate, the resident looked outside and discovered a white BMW had been stolen.
Officers responding to the scene determined the burglar entered the home through a front window, took the key fob from the kitchen and left through the front door. The sole motive appears to have been to steal the car, police said, as the perpetrator did not search the house or come in contact with the homeowners.
Saddle Brook police said on Facebook that other Bergen County departments are investigating similar incidents recently. Glen Rock, Fair Lawn and Paramus are among the municipalities affected, according to local reports. Parsippany also had a series of vehicle break-ins.
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With the holiday season approaching, here are some basic tips from State Farm that residents should know to reduce the risk of their homes becoming targets:
- Lock windows and doors: One of the simplest prevention methods is also one of the most effective. Burglars can easily access a home if the typical points of entry are unlocked — or a car if the key fob is inside — so be sure everything is secure before going to bed or leaving for vacation.
- Lighting: Keep a few lights on to give the appearance that someone is in the home and awake. Homeowners can also install motion sensor lights near entry points to scare off would-be burglars attempting to break in.
- Landscaping: Trim any bushes on the property so burglars have fewer places to hide before or after breaking in. Cut branches of trees near the house that could be used for climbing to a second-story window.
- Clean up: Put away valuable items in the house, or move them so they are not easily visible from the yard. If thieves see something worth taking, they may be more likely to break in to find out what else is available.
- Get a dog: Another simple solution that could make a big difference. A burglar who knows there is a four-legged security guard in a house, or finds out when approaching a residence, is likely to skip over it.