Joe Rak, a 35-year resident of East Brunswick, has pledged to match the $1,000 reward offered by Middlesex County Crime Stoppers for information leading to the capture of the suspects responsible for the burglaries.
"I think our police force does a fantastic job, but like anything else you can always use some extra help to get this resolved," Rak said. "If they catch these guys and there are more burglaries that happen in the future, I'd be willing to give the reward again to discourage anyone from coming to East Brunswick to commit these crimes. $2,000 is a little different than $1,000. Maybe someone will turn in a friend for $2,000."Burglaries began to spike throughout the region in late-2013, prompting the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office to issue an alert to residents.
Areas hit in East Brunswick included the neighborhoods near Summerhill Road and Old Stage Road (Clearview, Stephens and Dobson) and neighborhoods near Ryder’s Lane by the North Brunswick border (Ryders, Corona, Perry, Allwood, Bruning and Jean), police said. There were also burglaries reported on Parsons Road and Flagler Street.
East Brunswick Police said the burglaries predominantly occurred during the daytime and early evening hours while many residents were at work.
The common methods used in the break-ins involved one or more suspects knocking on a front door to see if anyone was home. If the door was answered, the suspect would then claim to be from a utility company, looking for a friend, or would say they saw an ad for an item being sold, according to police.
Rak said he was concerned about not only his valuables, but also the welfare of his friends and family.
"I had a couple of sons who passed away and there are certain items that are more valuable to me than money. I'd hate to see somebody break into my house and take something that belonged to my sons," he said. "I'm also concerned about the safety of my daughter, who I encouraged to move to East Brunswick. She's getting paranoid.
"I love this town and you never used to hear about nonsense like this happening. This has been going on for too long now. I want to match the reward so anybody coming to East Brunswick to commit a burglary has to worry about someone turning them in."East Brunswick Police are asking residents to remain alert and to report any suspicious people or vehicles they may see in their area by calling 732-390-6900.
Tips to Crime Stoppers are confidential and callers can remain anonymous.
Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County provides three ways to provide information on cases, call, text, or online:
1) Call 1-800-939-9600
2) Text-A-Tip to “MIDTIP plus your message” to 274637
3) Visit their web site http://www.middlesextips.com/index.aspx
Crime Prevention Tips from the Middlesex County Prosecutor's OfficeIf You're Traveling
- Get an automatic timer for your lights.
- Ask a neighbor to watch your home, shovel snow, and park in the driveway from time to time.
- Don't forget to have mail and newspaper delivery stopped. If it piles up, it's a sure sign you're gone.
- Be careful posting vacations on social media
If You're Out for the Evening
- Turn on lights and a radio or TV so it looks like someone's home.
- Be extra cautious about locking doors and windows when you leave, even if it's just for a few minutes.