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Burglars Targeting Willard Neighborhood, Detectives Say

Rash of car and home burglaries have been reported in the last month, according to village police.

Residents of Ridgewood's lovely Willard neighborhood should be on high alert – police say a troubling burglary pattern has emerged in the West Side neighborhood over the past month.

According to Detective Douglas Williams, burglars since mid-July have targeted unlocked and occupied homes as well as unlocked vehicles between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m., specifically around North Monroe, Hillcrest, Mornigside and Bedford roads.

In each case, entry into the homes was "through an unlocked rear window or door with pocketbooks/wallets visible in plain view from outside the home," Williams said in a news release. Police reported only cash was taken, with wallets and purses returned to the original location to conceal the theft.

Thieves also broached unlocked garages in the area, making off with high-end golf clubs, golf balls and even a pricey telescope, police said.

"The Ridgewood Police Department requests the assistance of the public, specifically by reporting any previously unreported incidents as well as any future suspicious activity within your neighborhood," police said in a statement.

The department further requested residents close and lock all windows and doors to lessen the chances of thievery.

The burglars have not been confronted by homeowners in any of the incidents, according to Williams.

Patrol cars – both marked and unmarked – will continue to make rounds in the area.

Anyone with information regarding the thefts around Willard is urged to contact Detective Douglas Williams by phone at 201-251-4537, 201-615-3718 or by e-mail at dwilliams@ridgewoodnj.net.

Correction: The homes were occupied; burglars struck while homeowners were sleeping.

Dennis Martinez September 01, 2012 at 11:22 AM
The police can only do so much. People have to lock their cars, leave night lights on when they go away, close garage doors and be on the alert throughout the area. I'm amazed at the number of people who leave their car doors unlocked with a garage door opener in it and neighbors who leave their backdoors open for the kids......What makes Willard easy pickings is you can break in and time it to be in the woods or on the train at Hohokus right away.
J.C. Lee September 01, 2012 at 12:37 PM
The village should establish a service charge for people who intentionally leave their houses and cars unlocked and then become "victims" of their own carelessness! I don't condone stealing, but people need to take responsibility for their own basic security.
Harlan Consider September 01, 2012 at 03:43 PM
No. It's fine by me that people can still be so careless. Thieves will always be drawn to the path of least resistance. As long as some people remain so careless, it means my place is less attractive to consider stealing from.
Ridgewooder September 01, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Ridgewood in its entirety needs to become a gated community,
Long Time Resident September 02, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Hey Fly, Go back to the yellow blog where you belong. They have a whole bunch of stupid over there including you.
Matt September 02, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Gated community? I give it a 50% chance the thief LIVES in Ridgewood.
Ridgewooder September 02, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I'd guess 5%.
Josie September 02, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I have lived in the Ridgewood, Glen Rock & Midland Park area all of my life. My husband and I have owned homes in all three town as has most of our family. We also ran a family business in Midland Park for many years. Never would I even think knowingly of leave the doors to our home, business or car unlocked. A a child in the late 1940's and early 1950's my parents taught me that they worked very hard for what we had and that it was our responsbility to protect our family and our belongings. We locked our doors back then and we won't dream of doing anything less today. I even remember taking my kids bikes away for a month because the left them laying on the front lawn overnight and not locked in our shed!
eileen September 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM
This has become a critical issue. It is bad enough to have your home robbed when you are not home, but to have someone enter your home while you are home? I do not feel that anyone in the enforcement arena is guiding us as they should be. I was robbed last Fall and never heard one word about the investigation, what they found from forensics that were done, where I might have looked for my jewelry as far as possible pawn shops etc. Unfortunately, none of the suggestions we are told to do have been true deterrents. I think it is time to discuss closing off some of the exits off West Saddle River Road and /or Racetrack Road. Though it would be somewhat of an imposition, the possible decrease of break ins and increase of peace of mind would be worth it. Let me add that I have respect for the police and the dangerous positions they put themselves in to protect us, but the status quo 'to do' list we get and the standard procedures of the local police department are not even beginning to touch the continually increasing break in rate. This is not good for our daily life here and certainly not good advertisement for our 'quiet little village" on many levels... including home values. Please some concrete, applicable short term solutions.

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