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Committee: Stay Vigilant Amidst Residential Burglaries

Tips to avoid being the victim of a residential burglary

The Township Committee has asked residents to remain vigilant after there has been a string of house burglaries.

“The police department requests that all citizens remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity,” Committeeman Gary Quinn said. “Look out for your neighbors. Everybody’s got to try and play their part.”

Since Sept. 7 there have been 14 residential burglaries. Although arrests have been made, most of the incidents remain under investigation, Quinn said.

The burglaries are primarily occurring in the Forked River section of town during the daytime when homes are vacant, he said. Entry has been gained into unlocked homes as well as forcible entry into secure homes.

Approximately two years ago, Laurel Boulevard was hit with many burglaries, Quinn said. Arrests were made because residents assisted.

“We don’t want anyone getting involved themselves,” he said, advising residents to simply utilize cell phones, cameras and write down license plate numbers. “Don’t go further than that.”

Statistics show that burglaries rise once kids go back to school due to the vacant homes, Quinn said.

“Most of these are younger people who are dealing with drug issues and they go in and ransack homes looking for anything,” he said.

Quinn's comments resonated with Mary Jesuele of Forked River.

On Sept. 15, she returned to her home following a work day to find that her it had been entered, she said at the Committee meeting Thursday. Approximately $1,700 worth of items was stolen from her home.

The police officer that responded to her house had told her that there were three other burglaries in the area before her house was hit, she said.

“What upsets me, if I would have been told that or made aware of that, going to work I think I would have closed my windows,” she said. “I think we need to be made aware that these robberies are happening.”

Jesuele moved to Lacey from North Jersey to get away from crime, following two experiences, she said.

“I think something has to be done. Nothing against the police department here,” she said, describing the officers as “wonderful.”

“I think instead of having police officers sit at the Walmart or sit at the Wawa that I work at for parking or waiting for something to happen, I think the streets need to be patrolled more.”

Mayor Mark Dykoff said he would recommend doing a Reverse 911 call to the neighborhoods that are being targeted. Reverse 911 is a public safety communications system used to notify residents in emergency situations.

“Something has to happen,” Jesuele said. “For these dirtbags to break into my home and everybody else’s homes that work very, very hard and to steal their stuff and then go to pawn shops and do whatever they want to do with it, we need to do something.”

Although, Jesuele made a point to say that Fast Cash, located in Forked River, has been getting a bad reputation due to the recent burglaries, in her experience the shop is “on the up and up.”

The township actually has very strict permits for pawnshops such as Fast Cash and the police oversee them, Township Administrator and Municipal Clerk Veronica Laureigh said.

Quinn added that the shop is required to have cameras.

“So we know what’s going in and out of that pawn shop,” he said.

The Committee is looking into hiring more police officers, Quinn said. But at this time, the township cannot afford to do so.

“We know we need more police officers... Even at that, that’s not a necessary fix because these people are very, very sly,” he said. “The best possible tool we have is you and your neighbors throughout town looking out for each other.”

Committeeman David Most asked residents not to wait for the Reverse 911 call before locking their doors and windows.

“This is really sad because when I was brought up in Lacey Township, all the doors were open. You never worried about locking your car or rolling up your windows. Unfortunately we live in those times now,” he said.

Most apologized to those who have become victims.

“I would feel very violated as well. Lock your doors and windows,” he said. “Don’t make it easy.”

If you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood, dial 9-1-1 immediately. The Lacey Township Police Department can also be reached at (609) 693-6636.

Burglary Prevention Tips:

  • Make your home appear occupied—leave lights on when you go out.
  • Make it difficult to break in—lock all doors and windows before leaving home or going to sleep; keep your garage door closed and locked.
  • Don’t allow mail and newspapers to build up while you’re away. Arrange for the Post Office to hold your mail and a neighbor to collect your newspapers.
  • Arrange for your lawn to be mowed if you are away for an extended period of time.
  • Special locks are available for better security—sliding glass doors and pushbutton locks or doorknobs are vulnerable.
  • Don’t tempt a thief—store valuable items out of sight, use curtains, etc.

For more tips on burglary prevention, other precautions that should be taken, and what to do if your home has been broken into, click here.

Rich Smith September 28, 2012 at 02:51 PM
The police are doing a great job, they can only be so proactive in dealing with this.
Patricia Gleeson Matias September 28, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Now is the time for everyone to be a busy body. Be outside watching you know who belongs and who is a stranger in your own neighborhood. Be aware........
J September 28, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Any truth that someone comitted suicide behind 7-11 across from shoprite?
JJ89 September 28, 2012 at 03:06 PM
The police should pay more attention to all the teenage delinquents that are roaming the streets all day & not in school. There happens to be a group of teenagers who hang out with a homeless 18 year old who has a tent set up by the fourth lake. They also have a kid in that group who recently moved to Lacey but has already been in the police station a few times. Kids are getting jumped and robbed & weapons are involved. I just don't understand why the police are not taking this issue more seriously!!!!
ynot September 28, 2012 at 03:08 PM
great job..... Since Sept. 7 there have been 14 residential burglaries Need to work smarter not harder...
Lacey September 28, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Yes, it was near my home- there is a tree that they also carved for the man... I believe the family moved since...
Why ask why September 28, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Cops should ask every Kid, boy/girl or man/woman walking whats up ??? Like they use to when we had the Older cops. When u fit the description or were walkin around up 2 no good u bet ur ASS they asked u whats up?? It wasnt profiling its what cops DID, not drove rite by on their cell phone lookin the other way like Today!!!
Jon M September 28, 2012 at 04:37 PM
It is ashame to say, but 70% of the kids I see in this township everyday look like junkies.
Jon M September 28, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Agreed! especially on Beach, that street looks ghetto, I grew up in Trenton, so I know what ghetto looks like.
JJ89 September 28, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Jon M, I grew up in north Jersey and it actually wasn't as ghetto as Lacey is becoming....LOL...
JJ89 September 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Great job.....there was a knife found around where this group of teens caused an incident and the cop said it was only illegal if one of the kids had the knife in their hand and was threatening someone, then he picked up the knife (wearing no gloves) and tossed it in his car (not a bag)....then proceeded to NOT bring a single one of them to the police station, not even the 18 year old.....after that said group of teens were caught beating up a minor. The police are pressing charges but NOT a single teen was brought in........really!!!! The 18 year old is an adult!!!
billy jones September 28, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Lacey is just trash
Lacey Mom September 28, 2012 at 09:07 PM
That was a few years ago, the family now lives in FRB.
Lacey Mom September 28, 2012 at 09:11 PM
I live over there, I just had to call the police on a guy about 50 years old stumbling drunk and/or high, he was hitchhiking or trying to, mostly he was falling into the road with cars swerving around him. It scares me he could have walked right into my open front door!
Mary September 28, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Does anyone know when the meeting from last night will air?
Silver dollar September 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Mary I takes them a couple of days to show it the Schedule are Mon,Wed,Fri 6pm Tue,Thurs,sat 8am no listing for Sunday
3y3h34rtCl1ft0n September 28, 2012 at 11:00 PM
@Tallie I feel the same way! I live in North Jersey now, originally from Lacey, and I just don't get it when people say they moved to Lacey for a better life. What better life? A cheaper life maybe, but better? In what way? And yes, I understand North Jersey is large and diverse and does have some rather horrible parts. I get that, I know. But to say Lacey's somehow "better" than most of North Jersey? Just seems like people trying to justify living here.
JOHNNY Done it September 29, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Not sticking up for anyone or town ,the police blotter is available for any town take alook at all the towns Versus Ours you might be surprised, The black cloud just doesnt loom just over Lacey, Use common sense , To prevent becoming a victim
Ryan Hardy September 29, 2012 at 11:53 AM
If any thief dares set foot on my property, they'll get a warm welcome from my 12 gauge. Time to start defending our homes.
grace September 29, 2012 at 12:46 PM
yes and that is exactly how the police knew who was part of stealing our car
JOHNNY Done it September 29, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I agree ,, come into in my house vertical you will leave horizontal..in the diplomatic pouch
Victoria Applegate October 02, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Offer a reward for anyone who knows who's doing this. The burglars buddies or aquaintances will come forth since they need money for their drug habits as well. The problem is the drug infestation in Lacey and Bayville. Many older teenagers and young adults here are hooked and can't handle the withdrawl symptoms. Any part-time job they might find does not come anywhere near the amount of money they need.
Rich Wieland October 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Start a Neighborhood Watch in your area. I did that here in Toms River, and we haven't had a burglary since then. Look out for suspicious vehicles and people on your block, then call the police non-emergency number. A patrol car will investigate. "Let's look out for each other."
grace October 03, 2012 at 01:51 PM
toms river has turned into trash
grace October 03, 2012 at 01:54 PM
thats a great idea. how do you get started without feeling like you are just a nosey neighbor...and are the police ok with this? if it was to be done i want to go about it the right way
Mary October 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Rich that would be great, and i also would want to no how we would go about it also, something has to be done not just in Lacey but other towns as well
Mary October 09, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I have not seen any more info here, but i heard 2 more local kids ,20 year old kids have been arrested and charged with several of the break ins and the police found over 15 bags of stolen property in there room, the break ins have seemed to stop well i think so, i have still not been told if my things taken were found or pawned yet
Mike P October 09, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Anybody in Lanoka Harbor interested in doing a neighborhood watch? I on Rowe Street and there were 2 break ins over the summer...rediculous. The drugs are out of hand, speeding and such...our best weapon a cell phone with a camera...I will download and provide the police with it.
Mary October 11, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Yes Mike i would since im a victim of these break-ins...how would we go about this?
Alfonso Freda October 16, 2012 at 02:20 PM
ready to take action ???? scooter1966@live.com

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