Burglars made off with approximately $6,000 worth of jewelry and a large sum of cash from a Legregni Street home Tuesday evening, police said.
The break-in triggered a home burglar alarm that alerted police, but by the time officers arrived on scene the burglars had already fled, Chief Robert Kugler said.
Kugler said the burglars entered the home from the rear yard, smashing through the glass of the back door and reaching in to unlock the door from the inside.
Once inside the home, the burglars made their way upstairs and forcibly entered a locked walk-in bedroom closet that contained a jewelry box with cash and valuables, he said.
Tuesday's home burglary adds to the increasing number of break-ins that have recently hit both Saddle Brook homes and businesses, Kugler said.
On Friday, and , both located on Market Street, had their front doors smashed and cash registers raided.
"These are quick 'smash and grab' burglaries with the criminal spending less than a few minutes within the structure or home because of the potential for alarm system detection," Kugler said.
He advised residents to refrain from keeping cash and valuables in obvious places like bedrooms and dresser drawers, and asked that business owners re-consider storing cash in registers overnight.
Saddle Brook, which is not alone in facing a surge of recent smash-and-grabs, is working with other law enforcement agencies and the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office to mitigate the burglaries, Kugler said.
"There are other similar commercial smash-and-grabs within the county and regional area," he said. "We have evidence from our incidents that is helpful in our efforts to identify a suspect. We are investigating and working with the evidence and other law enforcement networks."
While , the borough experienced a rash of smash-and-grab burglaries this spring, including .
, who , attributed many of the borough's spring burglaries to a single highly successful serial burglar who never strays from his break-in method and is believed to have committed close to 150 burglaries in northern New Jersey since 2009.
It's not known whether the individual believed to be responsible for the Fair Lawn smash-and-grabs is the same actor who has recently appeared in Saddle Brook.
Kugler used the recent uptick in burglaries as an opportunity to call on Saddle Brook's mayor and council to hire more officers.
"With the dwindling manpower issues affecting many communities and our inability to adequately saturate our streets with visible and preventive police car patrols, these types of incidents seem to increase and flourish, unfortunately," said Kugler, who's seen his force diminish in size by more than 25 percent in recent years. "We need the public's help to keep a watchful eye out for themselves and one another and, equally important, nudge our elected officials to hire more police where appropriate."