After five homes were burglarized in Weehawken over a 10-day period that ended last Friday, Oct. 7, police made two arrests. They could not say as of press time whether the arrested persons had been linked to the crimes.
Before Oct. 7, the perpetrators hit five one and two-family homes in a 10-block radius during the day, while the occupants were out.
Weehawken Chief of Police Jeff Welz said he could not reveal the specific neighborhood because the incidents are still under investigation, but he wished to assure residents that the department has responded by increasing the presence of both uniformed and unmarked patrols.
On Monday, two undercover detectives spotted a “person of interest” in the neighborhood and arrested him due to an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Elizabeth, N.J. The suspect also had an extensive criminal background, and is currently under further investigation.
Welz advised residents to be aware of suspicious activity
Welz stated the department is “cautiously optimistic that maybe the people who were doing this have been taken off the street, but we are keeping the increased patrols since this is still an open investigation.”
There have been no reported burglaries since the arrests.
The town notified residents about the spree by using their reverse 911 system to make calls to the neighborhood.
Welz reported that all of the detectives in the North Hudson area are working together on the case because, he said, “there are no boundaries for criminals.” He also reported a strong increase in house burglaries in the region in general over the past few months.
In the reverse 911 call, Welz advised residents to be aware of suspicious activity and to alert the police immediately to anything out of the ordinary. It was the first time the police had used the reverse 911 tool since its implementation about a year ago. The department received 20 calls in response.
Welz also informed residents to pay particular attention to strange people in their back yards because evidence led police to suspect that the burglar(s) may have been traveling from home to home in this way.
Gennarose Pope may be reached at email@example.com.