NEW MILFORD, N.J. — Anita Pinto of New Milford and her family were cozying up for an early night last week when she said a man in an orange t-shirt rang her bell, then took off across her lawn when he spotted her.
Pinto suspects the incident was related to a trio of Sept. 23 burglaries that police are currently investigating.
Burglars forced open the front doors of vacant homes on Ryeside Avenue, Roslyn Avenue and Hegi Drive between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m that night, borough police said.
"These are the first burglaries we’ve had in a really long time. It's highly unusual for this area," New Milford Police Chief Frank Ramaci told Daily Voice. "We’ve always suggested that residents remain vigilant at all times and just keep an eye out for their property and their neighbors' property."
Khara Bozler Hutchinson moved to New Milford from New York City 6 weeks ago.
"I didn't expect to deal with this here," said Hutchinson, formerly of Fair Lawn. "I don't feel like I live in a community where I can forget to lock my car door."
A community watch program could foster safety and decrease crime rates, borough resident Jennifer C. said. She hopes to find a proactive solution, such as a course in safety.
"Criminals don't obey laws," Jennifer C. said. "I put more faith in my dog and my Louisville [Slugger baseball bat] than someone who thinks they maybe saw something."
Police ask that anyone who sees someone or something suspicious immediately call the department at (201) 261-1400.
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