Wave of burglaries hits Moorestown

Posted: August 14, 2014

Amid the sprawling front lawns and stately homes of east Moorestown, six burglaries have unfolded about two miles apart since early June, and with common themes:

The residents were away in each instance, and did not set or have working alarms. Second-floor bedrooms - and the jewelry inside them - were the main target, with TVs and silverware generally untouched. And the hours of 6 p.m. to midnight were prime time for the thieves.

With the latest burglary reported Monday, Moorestown police are investigating whether the same individual or group is responsible. They still haven't ruled out, though, that more than one group may be behind the break-ins.

Authorities said more than $260,000 worth of property was stolen in two of the break-ins. They did not have estimates for the other thefts.

An antique shotgun, a safe, and watches have been among the stolen items.

"This hasn't been the worst," said Moorestown police Lt. Lee Lieber, recalling that 13 burglaries occurred in a six-month time frame some years ago. "But obviously we're not happy that it's happening."

The string of burglaries started June 9 at a home on Cortland Shire Drive, where police said someone broke through a back window and grabbed jewelry and watches.

At five more homes, the method was much the same. A door or window was pried open, police said. In one case a sliding door was already unlocked.

"When they find a way to get in," Lieber said of the burglars, "they usually stick to it."

Once inside, Lieber said, the suspect or suspects are heading straight for the bedrooms, often a spot where people keep jewelry and other valuable items.

There, they have struck gold, so to speak.

On Sunday in a home along the 800 block of Albury Court, $200,000 worth of jewelry was reported stolen, Lieber said.

But Lieber, in speaking about home alarms, said it's always important to set them, particularly when leaving for hours or days at a time.

"In this day and age you still have to take precautions," he said. "No matter where you live."

Two years ago, a man and woman in their 20s were accused of burglarizing homes in Moorestown and other communities. Investigators said they knocked on doors, cut alarm wires if no one answered, and then pawned the stolen property for drug money before they were nabbed.


mboren@phillynews.com856-779-3829 @borenmc

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