A rash of burglaries have hit some South New Jersey Jersey towns this year, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer. Police have responded by concentrating patrols on hot spots, and in Haddonfield, the chief has gone out on patrols a few hours a week. Some burglars have passed over electronics, such as iPads, and grabbed only jewelry and cash. A sluggish economy, high gold prices, the usual scourge of drug addition, and a milder winter may have fueled the rise, some officers said.
One officer said harsher penalties could help discourage burglars. Two bills in the Legislature seek to stiffen the penalties. Mitchell Sklar of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police said several other New Jersey towns have also seen a rise. “It’s come on everybody’s radar in the past several months,” he said. “This is not a localized issue.” The burglaries occurred mostly during working hours. Some homes did not have alarms, while residents of others had not turned theirs on. In Evesham, “You always get these spikes, but it seems like in the past six months, it’s been a bigger spike than what I’ve seen in the past,” said police Sgt. Joseph Friel. He said it’s too easy for burglars to sell gold to shops.