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Police: After Rash of Burglaries, Take Precautions to 'Harden' Homes

Simple steps can help to deter crimes of opportunity, according to police

In the wake of the arrest of the alleged Crestwood Village burglar, police are urging residents to take steps to ensure that their homes do not become attractive targets to criminals. 

"You have to do everything to harden your residence," Manchester Chief of Police Brian Klimakowski told a group of seniors last week during a safety talk at AristaCare at Whiting. "We know we have to protect ourselves."

Entry to homes in the Crestwood Villages during a recent months-long string of burglaries appeared to have been made through unlocked doors and windows. Police have said that if the alleged burglar, 26-year-old Crestwood Village VI resident Jason M. Clancy, encountered a locked residence he would move on to another.

"Most of these crimes are crimes of opportunity," Klimakowski said. 

It appeared success in finding easily accessible homes emboldened the alleged burglar, who faces multiple charges after an early-September arrest, as the incidents happened progressively more frequently since beginning in July. 

And they consistently appeared to be crimes of opportunity. Home windows were not smashed. Noises were not made.

"It's quiet out here at night," Klimakowski said, referring to the heavily wooded and mostly calm neighborhoods found in Whiting. "If someone starts breaking windows, someone's going to hear."

To reduced the potential of becoming a victim of a crime of opportunity, Klimakowski recommended the following:

  • Install motion sensor lights outside of the home
  • Have a hole drilled in window frames so they can be pinned and opened only to a certain height
  • Keep shrubs trimmed to below window height to eliminate a hiding spot for anyone trying to enter a home
  • Look out after your neighbors

To that final point, the chief said that the public should not hesitate to call police if something does not seem right. 

"Don't ever feel that anything is too big for the police department," he said. "We'll do anything we can do to help."

If a resident ever encounters a burglar inside of their home, Klimakowski urged that they do not confront the individual. Burglars are looking for goods to lift, not for an altercation. 

"They want to get into the house, get what they want and get out," he said. 

A resident who encounters someone in their home should yell for help and immediately dial police for help. 

Burglars mainly target items that cannot easily be traced, Klimakowski said, such as cash, jewelry and prescription drugs. Regulations at secondhand shops make it easier for law enforcement to track certain stolen goods, like a television with a serial number.

"Thieves try to stay away from anything that can be traced," the chief said. 

If the man charged with the Crestwood burglaries posts bail, which according to the Ocean County Department of Corrections remains at $75,000, he would be able to return to his father's home in Village VI while awaiting further proceedings. 

"I know that's not something you want to hear," Klimakowski said. "But they go home."

The chief said that he will meet with representatives from the villages and said it may be possible for them through their bi-laws to place certain restrictions on who can live in the villages. 

barbara September 25, 2012 at 05:20 PM
It is a shame we have to lock ourselves inside our homes. If he gets out, which hopefully he wont, he should not be allowed back to crestwood village. Of course, there are others out there who could rob you also. I was sure there are already restrictions in the bi-laws as to who or how many can live in the home. will have to re-read them. love living in crestwood. stay safe and report any and all suspicious activity.
Scott Neuman September 25, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Alway good ideas. I'll mention two more. An alarm system isn't that expensive. While this thief finally got caught, all the townships around Manchester are also getting hit by thieves. Two things people do look for. Those stupid alarm signs from ADT or Slomins warning people they have an alarm. Why is it stupid? Because everyone has a minute on their doors when you open the front door. Kick a door in and start counting sixty seconds. Take the sign out and scare the guy when he tries to break in. Also, if you have internet from Verizon or Comcast, you can buy your own IP ready camera sensors that are set to call you if it senses motion in the house or around the house. You'll be able to see if someone is in/around the home from a smart phone or from a dial out from your home without the extra monthly cost from the monitoring company. It's just as easy for you to call the police then the monitoring company that has to call you first to check if the alert is real or not saving you the $240.00 a year you'd have paid. Scott Neuman http://www.scottneumanforfreeholder.com
ray September 26, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Arm yourself. One good load of buckshot and the burglaries stop forever - at least from one guy.
So Much to Say September 26, 2012 at 03:58 AM
@Scott Neuman ADT is not cheap. Free with them is NOT free. When they left my home it was with an additional $1,200.00 to make sure all my door and windows were covered. Then you're locked into a 3 or 5 year contract at $49.00 a month plus yearly increases. ADT promises a discount on your homeowners policy....3% a year on only a portion of the policy for only 3 years. Which amounts to near nothing. Penny's!! Then of course at the side of your house where the phone wires comes in you alarm wires are exposed. A simple knip and you have no alarm and no phone. SURPRISE.....The whole truth! People arm yourselves get a gun you're comfortable with, take lessons and shoot to kill. Why is it that anyone running for the Freeholder office only gives you half the story? May as well stay with the Freeholders we already have.

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