The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

The Student News Site of Westfield High School

Hi's Eye

Recent break-ins throughout Westfield target homes and cars

Photo by Charlie Jeckell
Westfield police cars parked outside the Westfield station

In recent months, there have been numerous break-ins and thefts in Westfield. According to the Westfield Police Department, during the last week of September, there were thousands of dollars worth of medication boxes, license plates and other personal goods stolen through multiple unrelated burglaries.

WHS Resource Officer Nick Calello said thieves target “easy opportunities” for these burglaries and noted that Westfield is viewed as an easy target for these criminals because “people tend to not lock their cars or their houses.”

To prevent break-ins, Calello said to“lock your cars, and lock your homes.” He added, “Be aware of your surroundings, and that pretty much deters it.” He also mentioned that a suspect was recently arrested after attempting to steal a car in broad daylight. “At this point, they don’t care about timeframe…they’ll do what they want to do,” he said.

According to Westfield Police Chief Christopher Battiloro, as of Oct. 11, there have been 30 vehicle burglaries valued at $1,073,000. The most targeted car is a BMW X5, followed by Land Rovers and Porches. Vehicle theft has taken a sharp increase in Westfield since 2016, which Chief Battiloro credits to the “proliferation of the key fob,” with most stolen vehicles being “unquestionably left unlocked with their key fobs in them at the time of their thefts.”

Chief Battiloro also attributes the rise in home burglaries to the “sole purpose of locating key fobs,” and said that there have been at least four residential burglaries in Westfield since Oct. 7 that the police departments believes were with intent to steal vehicles that were outside of the residencies. 

Burglars utilize a variety of tactics to break into homes in Westfield. A recent article on describes a Sept. 21 break-in on Tamaques Way, where police said a man entered a house through an open second-story window while a resident was inside.

Another article describes a Sept. 12 break in on Central Ave. Police said that the suspect broke into the house through an open first-floor window, and the interior of the residence was completely ransacked. Police also noted that a similar break-in happened near the house on Central Ave. in August.

Break-ins like these affect WHS students as well. Senior Hannah Plummer had her car broken into. The burglars then used her garage door opener to get into the garage, where Plummer’s mother found them early in the morning. “Thankfully, we did not have our garage door unlocked to get into the house, where my mom’s keys were right by the door,” Plummer said.

The event left a psychological impact as well. Plummer said, “It still affects us to this day. We’re still always paranoid, because we know that it can happen again. People need to be wiser, but at the same time, it’s like we’re being fearful in our own community.”

Despite instances like Plummer’s, students in the WHS community generally feel secure. Junior Logan Swenson said,“I still feel safe, but it makes me more aware to make sure I lock cars and doors.”

The break-ins are not just in Westfield. “It’s pretty consistent throughout the state,” Calello said. “It’s really every town. [Burglars] see opportunity and take it.”

According to a article from July, Morris Township, Montville, Parsippany and Morristown are also hotspots for burglaries. The article also mentioned that popular cars targeted are Audis, BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, Land Rovers and Hondas.

Overall, recent break-ins around Westfield can be concerning, but they are preventable. Following Calello’s recommendation of locking cars and homes is the simplest way to protect yourself and your belongings.

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