SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- Someone stole Christmas from a Saddle Brook family who returned home Wednesday night to find their brand new TV missing, along with a laptop and jewelry. UPDATE: A Saddle Brook couple whose new television was stolen their home while it was still in the box got a Christmas Eve surprise when a Hackensack contractor who read their story in Daily Voice bought them an even bigger one. READ MORE....
"It was still in the box," Police Chief Robert Kugler said of the 32-inch set. "They were about to open it and use it for the holidays."
Whoever was responsible pried open a rear door of the Kuhn Drive home and ransacked dresser drawers between 1-6 p.m., the chief said.
That was followed by an attempted break-in after 5 p.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Oxford Avenue, Kugler said.
"Same MO -- rear door forcibly opened," he said.
A dog in the house "may have restricted entry," the chief said. Nothing was reported missing.
He urged citizens to take steps to burglar-proof their homes amid the annual spree of holiday break-ins:
• Make sure all doors and windows are secure, especially in back; use window stops;
• Clear windows and doors of any bushes, trees or shrubs so that you, your neighbors — and, if necessary, police — can see them;
• Use deadbolts -- but with screws are at least a couple of inches long for additional strength;
• Motion detector lighting; not too close to the ground that someone could unscrew the bulb;
• Don't leave ladders or other types of boosters or tools outside;
• Keep lights on. Put them, televisions and radios on timers.
MORE TIPS: 'Tis the Burglary Season: Protect Your Home