Metuchen police investigate string of break-ins

Nov. 5, 2015: A woman at a residence on Robins Place was on the second floor when she heard three loud bangs downstairs. She went down to investigate and discovered the back door busted open, but no one around.

This happened on Oct. 26 around 9:20 a.m., the last of a string of burglaries or attempted break-ins the Metuchen Police Department is investigating.

There have been five incidents: three actual break-ins and two attempts, according to Metuchen Police Chief David Irizarry. No residents have been confronted in any of the incidents. The person or people committing the acts seem to be checking to see if anyone is home before attempting to access the residences, Irizarry said.

“Someone breaking into a home during the day, 99.9 percent of the time is not looking for a confrontation,” Irizarry said. “Usually they’ll knock a few times, wait for someone to come and if no one comes, they usually bang the door.”

The incidents are likely connected, Irizarry said. “Normally you don’t have multiple burglars working in your town at one time. If you have a week or two weeks with multiple burglaries or attempts, most times it’s the same person or group of people,” he said.

Here are the incidents:

  • the first occurred on Oct. 18 at a residence on Main Street in the area of St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral. The residence, in which no one was home at the time, was accessed through an unlocked rear door. It’s not clear what time the incident occurred since no one was home. Irizarry did not have updated information on what was taken from the residence other than a video game console and video games.
  • three incidents occurred on Oct. 23: the first happened around 11:23 a.m. at a residence on Spring Street. An alarm scared away the person or people trying to access the residence; the second occurred around 1:55 p.m. on Whitman Avenue, where no one was home at the time. A rear sliding glass door was pried open and jewelry was taken; the third incident occurred at 4:15 p.m. at a residence on Rector Street, where a rear sliding door was forced open. No one was home at the time. A camera was taken.
  • The final incident, referenced above, occurred on Oct. 26 at the Robins Place residence, where police believe the perpetrator was scared away once he or she discovered the residence was occupied.

Irizarry declined to discuss any leads police are following because the investigation is ongoing. He said most towns will have the occasional burglary, but it’s not an “issue” in Metuchen. “We had a few this year and also solved a great deal of them,” he said.

He asked that residents call police if they see something, or someone, that looks out of the ordinary. Police can be reached at the main number of 732-632-8500 or by dialing 9-1-1.

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