Police warn of brazen break-ins

GLOUCESTER TWP., N.J. - September 26, 2008 - Over the past few weeks, the bandits have been burglarizing houses while the people who are living there are still inside.

"Our whole family was home with three children sleeping. He wasn't afraid to come in," said one victim who did not want to be identified.

He is one of six residents in the Eriel section of the township whose property was burglarized. The theft at his house happened around 4:00 a.m. last Sunday.

"Apparently they took the chair from the table and put it up against the house, climbed up, cut the screen, reached through and grabbed my wife's pocketbook," the homeowner said. "They only took the cash."

Since September 6th, two vehicles parked in driveways on New Brooklyn Road and one on Annapolis drive were broken into with GPS units and laptops taken.

Two homes on Lake Placid Drive and two on Brekenridge were also broken into, with screens cut and purses and jewelry taken as residents slept.

"In some cases he's only had to reach into the kitchen count and pick up a purse, and in the other ones he's come into the dining area and taken them," said Chief Edward Smith of Gloucester Twp. Police.

"You know when somebody is actually breaking into somebody's house at 2, 3, 4:00 in the morning, that's got to be either desperate, brave or an older type person doing that," said resident Melvin Foster. "It's very scary."

In two incidents bicycles were left behind. As the investigation continues, police warn residents to close and lock their first floor windows and doors during the night.

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