A jump in the number of home burglaries is being recorded by police departments across much of North Jersey, and some of the break-ins are happening while residents are home.
Jeanine Touchart, of Leonia, said her home was broken into in April while she was upstairs reading in bed.
“I screamed, and they left through the door,” Touchart told NBC 4 New York.
According to Touchart, the burglar or burglars came in through an open basement window, and then crashed through a locked door at the top of the basement steps to gain access to the main part of her home.
Her screaming though apparently scared the suspects away.
What happened to her is happening with increasing frequency in bedroom suburbs such as Leonia, and according to a report on NorthJersey.com, nearby towns of Englewood, Paramus and Wayne.
In Leonia, Police Chief Jay Ziegler said burglaries are up from 19 in 2010 to 43 last year, and are already at 23 five months into this year.
Ziegler doubted there is a single gang out there responsible for this crime wave.
Patrol Sgt. Scott Tamagny said many factors can figure into a crime wave.
“Which career burglars are locked up at the time, who’s out on parole, who’s out on probation,” Tamagny said.
Touchart had no idea who tried to burglarize her house, but since then, she has added new locks and new outdoor security lights activated by motion sensors.
She said she estimates she has spent around $2,000 to make her house more burglar-proof.
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