Northern New Jersey Hit by a Dozen Smash-and-Grabs



The region has had 12 of the thefts, also known as three-minute burglaries, since February

Jewelers’ Security Alliance (JSA) reports that there have been 12 overnight smash-and-grab robberies in Northern New Jersey between February and August 2016.

Overnight smash-and-grabs, also known as three-minute burglaries (B3M), make up nearly half of all jewelry robberies. According to JSA data, there were 124 of these B3M in 2015, representing 48.4 percent of jewelry burglaries. The average B3M in 2015 resulted in a loss of $23,000 in merchandise.

The New Jersey burglaries (locations pictured) have all involved cutting power to surveillance cameras and alarm systems before smashing a window or breaking a door. The burglaries have taken place between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., with 2 a.m.–4 a.m. on Friday being the most frequent window.

Surveillance video of the most recent burglary, in Perth Amboy, N.J., is available here.

John Kennedy, JSA president, emphasizes that there is no evidence that these B3M are being done by the same group.

“Three-minute-burglaries are a common crime,” he says. “Is 12 a wild number? No, it isn’t. But having it in that limited geographical area does put law enforcement on notice that they want to look into it more carefully. It might be the same gang, and they might keep doing it. If that crime works they are going to keep doing it.”

Kennedy advises that even the best alarm systems are no deterrent for these kinds of robberies, which are often over before authorities arrive.

“The only protection you can really have is to put all the stuff away,” he says. “And people don’t do this, it takes too long, stuff gets damaged, you don’t want to pay your employees an extra hour. So they put the valuable stuff away, enough to meet the insurance requirements to keep 80 or 90 percent or whatever in a safe overnight, and they leave out the rest. But that can still be tens of thousands of dollars of merchandise.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. Omar Diaz of the Real Time Crime Center at Newark at 973-877-9351. 

(Image courtesy of JSA)