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Seven Homes Burglarized on Berkshire Valley Road

Police believe recent string of break-ins are connected, possibly drug-related.

Jefferson Police believe a recent rash of burglaries on Berkshire Valley Road could be connected and drug-related, Capt. Eric Wilsusen said.

There were seven recent residential break-ins from Sept. 28 to Oct. 14 on that Jefferson Township street, according to Wilsusen.

Wilsusen said in all of these burglaries, entry was gained by forcing their way into the house, and had similar items stolen, including jewelry and electronics.

Those responsible were in and out of the houses quickly when residents weren't home, Wilsusen said. He said that behavior is typical of a burglar with a drug addiction.

"When we do see these kinds of burglaries, it's usually drug-related," Wilsusen said. "They're looking for anything they can get for quick cash, and it's usually someone who lives within the area."

One of the differences in these recent burglaries, Wilsusen said, is the way the burglars have been entering the homes by pushing and kicking in doors.

"We generally don't get the type of burglaries where they're forcibly entering a home," he said. "They'll look for open doors, open windows, they'll break anything."

Wilsusen said the township saw two other rashes of burglaries this year, one also on Berkshire Valley Road and the other on East Shore Road.

The two alleged burglars were caught, and both lived on the same street where the homes were burglarized, Wilsusen said,.

Other nearby towns including Mount Olive and Sparta have also been experiencing recent break-ins, but are believed to be done by a group similar to the infamous "James Bond Gang."

But Wilsusen said police don't believe the group is responsible for the Berkshire Valley incidents.

"It leads us to believe that it's got to be somebody local, it's got to be someone who knows the area," he said. "Unlike the James Bond gang, where they're hitting different towns at different times, and more high-end homes."

Some of the incidents occurred on Sept. 28, when a panel of a front door was kicked in and bedrooms were ransacked, Wilsusen said.

A computer worth $1,400, $550 of loose change and several hundred dollars of electronics were stolen from a home on Oct. 10, Wilsusen said.

A jewelery box and jewelry were taken from a home on Oct. 14, according to a report supplied by Wilsusen.

Wilsusen said he urges residents to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity, and to lock expensive items in a safe.

"We recommend people to put valuables in safe," he said. "Don't leave it in a jewelry box at the top of a dresser, because thats the first place they're going. That's what these burglars are doing."

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