Suspects steal luxury vehicles after breaking into several homes in Gloucester County

One victim said the intruders were inside his home for about 15 minutes before opening the bedroom door.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
Suspects target luxury vehicles after breaking into several homes in Gloucester County
Suspects target luxury vehicles after breaking into several homes in Gloucester County

GLOUCESTER COUNTY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Residents in Mantua Township and Mullica Hill say they are stunned and scared after a series of home invasions and high-end vehicle thefts.

Harrison Township Police Chief Ronald Cundey said surveillance video shows four suspects breaking into Scott Hollander's home on Balis Court in Mullica Hill around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Hollander said his pregnant wife heard unusual noises.

"She heard jumping and she woke me up, and I basically told her to call 911," recalled Hollander.

Hollander said the suspects used a crowbar to climb through a window and steal the keys to their Range Rover. Police later found the car in Hillside, New Jersey.

"My wife was cramping. I was like, 'Oh my God if you deliver right now, I'm going to lose my mind.' It's definitely a little adjustment psychologically. When it happens once, you're certainly not the same," said Hollander.

"It's a traumatic event for all of us, and now reliving it two weeks later in the same development really just hits home even more," said another victim who lives on Green Lane in Mantua Township.

He said three suspects also broke into his home exactly two weeks ago.

"We're still in shock at this point because we live in a community we felt was very safe," he said.

He said the intruders were inside for about 15 minutes before opening the bedroom door.

"Our dog started to growl and woke my wife up, and she saw the intruder start to come in and her quick reactions actually helped by screaming and chasing after them," the victim recalled.

The victim's BMW was stolen as a result of the break-in. Police have not yet located the vehicle.

Cundey said these crimes are a problem statewide, and they're escalating.

"People are in their homes. We have a large armed population here. I issue a lot of permits for handguns and firearms in this township. I'm just afraid something is going to happen, and someone is going to seriously get hurt," said Cundey.

Now, local and state police, the FBI, and a state auto theft task force are working together to stop these suspects.

"This is a number one priority for the New Jersey Attorney General's office," said Cundey. "They reactivated this task force recently, and throughout the state, we're really working hard to combat this crime. They increased penalties on certain motor vehicle theft crimes so we can get bottom of this."

Robbinsville Township police and Washington Township police are also investigating similar incidents.

Cundey said they increased patrols and asked residents to contact them if they see anything suspicious.

The Mantua Township Police Chief released the following statement on the issue:

"Four suspects were arrested for a similar case, but no arrests have yet been made in our specific case. Our detectives are working with our law enforcement partners from all over the state to bring this case, and other similar cases, to a conclusion. There are a lot of very intelligent and hard-working people involved from all of these agencies and it's only a matter of time until an identification occurs and suspects are arrested."