A James Street residential burglary was likely the work of a known Bergen County crew that has hit homes across North Jersey for years, said.
According to Capt. Rich Ferrone, the residents were away when the home was broken into sometime between last Friday night and Wednesday afternoon. The incident was discovered when a neighbor went to water the flowers at the home on Wednesday, Ferrone said.
It appeared the front door had been kicked in, Ferrone said. The door jam was broken and the wood frame that held the lock was found on the front steps, Ferrone said.
The master bedroom was found ransacked, but it was not immediately known if anything was missing since the homeowners were still away, Ferrone said.
The break-in fit the pattern of a Bergen County crew consisting of 20 to 30 individuals who have been known to kick in the front doors and burglarize homes located near highways, Ferrone said. The crew is believed to be responsible for burglaries in Morris, Somerset, Passaic counties as well as in New York state, Ferrone said.
"It's organized crime," he said. "They commit burglaries along interstate highways. They have an easy way in and easy way out through the high way, and they're gone. They may do four to five burglaries in a night."
Ferrone encourages residents to keep their lights on timers since the burglars are looking for vacant homes that are dark, he said. Ferrone also encouraged residents to have their mail and newspapers picked up while they're away.
"They're not looking for confrontation," he said. "They're just looking for what ever valuables they can take in a very quick fashion, and get out."