MIDDLETOWN — During the early morning hours of Dec. 18, officers from the Middletown Township Police Department responded to four reports of burglaries, attempted burglaries and thefts occurring in the Oak Hill and Lincroft sections of the township.
According to police, at approximately 3:55 a.m. several male suspects attempted to steal a vehicle that was parked in a driveway at a residence in Bamm Hollow Estates, Lincroft.
Police said the suspects were observed on home security cameras entering the garage through a garage window in an attempt to take a vehicle that was parked in the garage. The suspects were unable to steal either vehicle.
Less than one hour later, suspects entered a residence in the Four Winds neighborhood in the Oak Hill section of the township. While the suspects were in the house, the homeowner confronted them and they ran to a waiting vehicle and fled the area.
Shortly thereafter, the suspects attempted to steal a vehicle that was parked in a driveway of a residence off Dwight Road in the Oak Hill section.
After that initial attempt was unsuccessful, the individuals went to the house next door. At that home, the suspects entered through a garage window and then entered the home, which activated a security alarm.
Hearing the alarm, the resident investigated the cause and confronted the suspects, who were in the house. The suspects fled the home, but were able to steal the vehicle that was parked in the driveway, a 2022 Land Rover, according to police.
In a press release, police said, “The crime of auto theft is, unfortunately, a widespread and interjurisdictional problem that has been occurring in numerous towns throughout Monmouth County. Additionally, the (suspects) in these incidents are becoming more brazen in their efforts to steal these high value vehicles.
“The Middletown Township police take these crimes very seriously and do everything we can to protect the residents of Middletown and their property.
“Chief R. Craig Weber, seeing the need to proactively address these crimes, has assigned an officer to the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force for the last three years. This assignment proved vital in these incidents.
“Information about the stolen vehicle gathered at the scene was quickly relayed to the task force. This facilitated the recovery of the vehicle within a couple of hours of the incident.
“The Middletown Township Police Department thanks members of the public for their continued vigilance and support. The public is asked to be mindful to always remove any key fobs and to ensure their vehicles are locked.
“Additionally, homeowners should make sure the doors and windows to the house are locked, that garage doors are closed and that any home security system and alarm is turned on at night or if away from home. Last, residents are asked to immediately report any suspicious activity to police,” the department said in the press release.