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Fair Lawn Burglaries, Larcenies Up 50 Percent This Year

March was one of the worst recent months on record for burglaries and larcenies in Fair Lawn

The number of burglaries in Fair Lawn, which were already at a nine-year high in 2011, have continued to rise through the first three months of 2012.

The town's burglary rate, , is up by another 50 percent through March this year, according to monthly Uniform Crime Data provided by the . If burglaries continue at their current clip, Fair Lawn will experience its first year with more than 100 burglaries since 2002 -- more than triple the number of burglaries that it had just three years ago.

Due to the increase in daytime burglaries, in late February urging residents to take greater care to maintain the security of their homes and vehicles.

Thus far, the warning to residents appears to have fallen on deaf ears. March ended up being one of the worst months for Fair Lawn burglaries in the last decade.

Police have attributed the rise in burglaries and other types of theft -- robberies in Fair Lawn have also doubled since 2009 and larcenies are up 54 percent since last year -- to the sagging economy.

"I think a lot of it probably weighs heavily on the economy and the unemployment rate," Sgt. Richard Schultz said, adding that there are likely a combination of factors.

New Jersey's unseasonably warm weather this year is another possible factor. For decades, some researchers have tied warmer weather to increased crime rates, and according to an NJ.com report, last month tied for the warmest March on record in New Jersey history.

Officers have also raised the possibility that criminals have grown more brazen due to Fair Lawn's , which is currently operating with 55 officers and . A 2009 study found that based on its population, Fair Lawn should have 73 police officers to align with average police force levels in Bergen County.

Despite the low force levels, however, Fair Lawn’s overall crime rate reached decade-low levels in 2010, even while burglaries spiked.

Crime data for April isn't yet available, but Schultz said he doesn't believe burglaries have slowed, citing a number of ongoing burglary investigations within the department.

--

Click here to find UCR data from 1990 to 2010 

Click here for more info on the Uniform Crime Reporting Methodology

For the first three months of each year:

2011 2012 % Change Burglaries 12 18 +50% Larceny 50 77 +54% Total Index Crimes 117 135 +15% Total Clearance Rate 38.5% 41.4% +7.5%

For a full breakdown of the last six years of Fair Lawn's UCR data:

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012* Murder 0 0 0 0 0  0 Rape 2 0 1 1 1  2 Robbery 7 9 6 9 18 2 Burglary 62 45 35 58 73  18 Larceny 319 292 309 289 295  77 Motor Vehicle Theft 15 16 16 13 13  3

*2012 crime statistics are through March.

Go Figure April 10, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Considering the leadership void in the police department and the decrease in officers on the street in our town and surrounding towns -- this doesn't surprise me at all. The real question is, what are we going to do about it? I hope our mayor and council have some great ideas before we all become victims.
Council April 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM
ive seen the mayor post on patch and ive seen mr cosgrove post on patch recently- and it of bothers me that they never respond to the important questions when asked. ive seen the mayor exchange comments with other posters but as soon as a difficult question comes up she disappears from the thread. which leads me to believe she doesnt know the answer or doesnt want us to hear her answer.. can someone on council or town manager please answer me this one question- why is Rose (who is costing the town millions) still employed? can we please get a leader that our officers respect and want to work for. in the private sector if someone does a poor job managing and cost thier company millions they would be terminated immediately. so please we know you council members read these post; why is Rose still employed by the town?
Cindy Evans April 10, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Of course this would have nothing to do with the economy and people becoming more desperate? You really think the thieves are reading the newspaper each day to figure out which towns have a cut in police forces? No. Crime is about opportunity and if the residents can't take heed when the police suggest how to reduce this opportunity, what do you expect?
JEN April 10, 2012 at 04:11 PM
WAIT ..WHAT? DID I READ THIS RIGHT? THERE HAVE ALREADY BEEN 2 RAPES!!! UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!
FLResident98 April 10, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I am not surprised at the increase in crime. It is a known fact that our police department is understaffed. If you can do it, a dog is the best crime deterrent for your home.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Statistics are always suspect. Some crimes are easy, car reported stolen, etc. easy to account for, but as Jen above points out 2 rapes in Fair Lawn, first I have not read about them, second violent crimes like rape are investigated and litigated for sometimes years. So what are the actual chances of 2 rapes occuring in 2012, going to court and criminals convicted of a crime...statistically 0...so what does this mean? Did these violent crimes occur between people that know each other or is there a rapist prowling the streets of FL looking to prey on women? Jen is outraged and fearful, should she be? Like I said, unvetted statistics like those above are almost meaningless.
Zak Koeske April 10, 2012 at 09:35 PM
On the rapes, all I can tell from the data the police keep is that one occurred in January for which no arrest has been made. The other happened in March and a 50-54 year old man was arrested for it. I'll see if I can get more information on both.
TiredofSmartypants April 10, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Most interesting doesn't mean most intelligent, the statistic is for a crime that occurred NOT for a conviction on the crime
Tommy P April 11, 2012 at 12:32 AM
The only politician who posts regularly on this site lost BIG time. Stewart Pace finished dead last, several fold. The folks there now think they are above the law and should not be held to account. Show up at a Mayor and Council show, you have five minutes to call them out and they have as much time as they need to not answer your question.
Irv Plotchner April 11, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Zak even though I would say its premature to calculate any year to date final numbers, does the clearance rate tell you that proportionate to officer's employed to the crime rising, that the clearance rate is unbelievably high? Does this not say something for the department which saw a 20% reduction in manpower?
Bruce Knuckle April 11, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Wake up Fair Lawn, don't believe that the town is as safe as we wish it were. It is better than most, but we are in big trouble here, Some serious change is needed.
Michael Agosta April 11, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Here's irony. The last time Baratta posted on the FL Patch, she said she was going to the police becasue she "had a family to protect." That was her response to someone that disagreed with her.
Michael Agosta April 11, 2012 at 09:55 AM
Jeanne Baratta 9:47 pm on Saturday, November 12, 2011 Sorry Delgado (Allison, Paige Ave, Adam, etc.), I'm the Chief of Staff not Deputy. I report directly to County Executive Donovan, not to Mr. Trawinski. Also, I have no idea who Joe Apiniso is but I handle the Press for the county. And once again, no double dipping here. Your obsession with me here and on NorthJersey.com is starting to concern me. Jeanne Baratta 12:01 pm on Sunday, November 13, 2011 thank you for your comments "Bellair", and yes I have gone to the police, I have a family to protect.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 11, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Tired, just because a crime is reported doesn't necessarily mean one has actually occurred. For example, those Duke Lacrosse players were accused and no rape had occurred, but in your reasoning a rape would have occurred. Larceny sounds ominous, but it includes somebody shoplifting a candy bar, so maybe more candy bars were stolen. Stats are listed by whole year in one case, but only a quarter for 2012, maybe crimes occur more in the beginning of the year, so a more accurate stat would be for the first quarter of each of those years. My point is stats are misleading in this case and tell us almost nothing, so why be unduly alarmed over meaningless numbers. See, I am actually both.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 11, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Thank you Zak. See my point above, is there a actually a crime crisis?
Mike Pena April 11, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Today another burgulary, I moved here to be safe and secure. What are we doing about this !
Chris Antonelli April 11, 2012 at 06:46 PM
NJ should enact FL gun laws. That would slow down the crime a bit.
Tommy P April 11, 2012 at 06:59 PM
The only politician who posts regularly on this site lost BIG time. Stewart Pace finished dead last, several fold. The folks there now think they are above the law and should not be held to account. Show up at a Mayor and Council show, you have five minutes to call them out and they have as much time as they need to not answer your question.
Tommy P April 11, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Here are the top three things the council is doing: 1. They are buying new fire trucks, in case that burglar sets your home on fire. 2. Forcing us to register alarm systems so a database of homes without alarms exists in the hands of a third party company 3. Otherwise wasting money instead of expanding police patrols. Any questions?
Tommy P April 11, 2012 at 07:05 PM
What ever happened to the 2nd and 14th amendments? But your right, an armed society is a safer society.
Bruce Knuckle April 11, 2012 at 11:07 PM
Thomas, #4...pointing fingers at each other
Michael Agosta April 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Council....correction. As soon as the mayor is asked difficult questions, she says she feels threatened and goes to the police. Here is her quote: Jeanne Baratta 12:01 pm on Sunday, November 13, 2011 thank you for your comments "Bellair", and yes I have gone to the police, I have a family to protect.
Michael Agosta April 12, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Jeanne Baratta 9:47 pm on Saturday, November 12, 2011 Sorry Delgado (Allison, Paige Ave, Adam, etc.), I'm the Chief of Staff not Deputy. I report directly to County Executive Donovan, not to Mr. Trawinski. Also, I have no idea who Joe Apiniso is but I handle the Press for the county. And once again, no double dipping here. Your obsession with me here and on NorthJersey.com is starting to concern me.
Zak Koeske April 12, 2012 at 08:25 PM
@Jen -- Spoke with the police about the rapes. Many times -- as was the case with the most recent rape arrest -- the rape involves a internal domestic abuse issue, not someone roaming the streets targeting women.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 13, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Tired, just because a crime is reported doesn't necessarily mean one has actually occurred. For example, those Duke Lacrosse players were accused and no rape had occurred, but in your reasoning a rape would have occurred. Larceny sounds ominous, but it includes somebody shoplifting a candy bar, so maybe more candy bars were stolen as there is a new 7-11 in town. Stats are listed by whole years, but only a quarter for 2011-2012, maybe crimes occur more in the beginning of the year in 2012, so a more accurate stat would be for the first quarter of each of those years. My point is stats are misleading in this case and tell us almost nothing, so why be unduly alarmed over meaningless numbers. See, I am actually both.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 13, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Zak, both circumstances are a tragedy, however that is an important distinction as far as a public danger.
Zak Koeske April 13, 2012 at 08:03 PM
@Most Interesting - The comparison made in this story was between the first quarter of 2011 vs. the first quarter of 2012 (+50% burglaries, +54% larcenies), because as you note, extrapolating the rest of 2012 from the first three months of the year wouldn't account for the fact that crime rates change by the season. The conventional, albeit sometimes challenged, wisdom is that crime rates are higher when its warm out (summer time), therefore someone with that mindset would expect crime to increase over the next few months. I only have the monthly breakdown of crime in Fair Lawn for 2011 and 2012, but if that's any indication, the heat trend held true last year. Reported crime rose in the summer months last year and remained heavy through the fall before tailing off a bit in the winter. While there are all sorts of possible explanations for the increase in crime numbers, I don't agree that they're meaningless.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 13, 2012 at 09:49 PM
@Zak, I agree that crime is not meaningless, just the accounting and definition gets a little dubious. Given the stats rape plumeted in 2008 and went up 100% in 2012. Relatively speaking, there is very little crime in town, so a small increase in numbers is magnified in percentage. The vast majority of crime is petty and residents and visitors should exercise reasonable caution like locking your car and windows at night and there is no reason to live in fear.
Zak Koeske April 16, 2012 at 03:07 AM
@Most Interesting - I agree that it would be disingenuous to write a story saying "Rape has doubled this year," because, while it may be true, as you point out, the number of incidences is so low that a doubling or a 50% reduction or whatever it might be, paints an inaccurate picture of the situation. Writing a story like that would be bating residents and I wouldn't do that. In the case of burglaries, there is legitimate cause for concern. They've been increasing steadily each for year the past three years and there are enough of them that saying they've doubled in the past two years is not a misleading statistic, in my opinion. Residents are free to make up their own mind as to whether a rise in burglaries will affect their behavior or sense of safety in town. Personally, I feel safe living in town, but I still believe the numbers, being what they are, warrant news coverage.
The Most Interesting Man in the World April 16, 2012 at 01:58 PM
@ Zak, I understand it is news and you highlighted the parts the FL residents would have most concern over, which is larceny, burglaries and robberies, which mostly has to do with taking property. The numbers are the numbers. To your credit you did not speak to the violent crime aspect. However, look at the reaction, everything from concern over rape to taking up arms. You could hire a policeman to stand on every every corner, but it would not do as much as being responsible enough to lock your doors and windows at night, lock your bike and lock your car and you will probably never be a victim of crime in FL. I like the idea of being free to make up my mind given the facts, which is an excellent point.

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