The Nutley Police Department, along with Mayor Alphonse Petracco, is advising township residents of a rash of burglaries in the community, the most recent being Friday, Jan. 17, on Bromley Place, and Thursday, Jan. 16, on Joerg Ave.
Police said most have been rear-door break-ins, with the burglar either forcing open or breaking the glass on the door to gain entry.
Residents are advised to be vigilant for any suspicious activity, suspicious vehicles or suspicious individuals in their neighborhoods.
They are asked to get as much detail as possible, such as the license plate number and description of the vehicle and description of any suspicious people, and report it immediately to police.
“If you see something suspicious, say something!” the NPD urges.
Nutley Police Chief Thomas J. Strumolo noted that his department is taking all the necessary steps to apprehend the burglars, including adding extra patrols throughout the township.
In addition, residents can take the following precautions to protect their properties:
• Interior lights on a timer when you are not home
•Exterior security lighting
•Deadbolts on all exterior doors
•Stopping mail and newspaper delivery when you are away
•Trimming shrubs blocking windows
Petracco and Strumolo also encouraged Nutleyites to view the following Neighborhood Watch link to learn how to protect a home from burglaries. The site includes a home-security inspection checklist: www.usaonwatch.org/assets/publications/HomeSecurityBooklet.pdf
Residents can walk around their home and check all the items on the list.
Home security was one of the prime topics at last week’s reorganization meeting for the Nutley Neighborhood Watch program, Strumolo told The Observer.
“I encourage all residents to take a look at their doors, locks, windows, and interior and exterior lighting,” the chief said. “Just making a few minor improvements can prevent them from becoming a victim.”
Strumolo also noted: “If residents are unsure of what measures need to be taken, we can come out and do a home security survey for them.”
Residents are also urged to lock their car when parked overnight and not to leave valuable items visible in the vehicle.
“In 2013, we had 80 thefts from parked motor vehicles, and the majority of the vehicles were left unlocked,” Strumolo reported. “This coming year we hope to reduce those numbers by getting help from residents by locking their vehicles.”
– Karen Zautyk