Neighborhood watch groups remain an essential tool to keeping residents safer and are helping to solve and prevent crime, Toms River Police said.
The tips residents and neighborhood watch groups have sent in have recently led to arrests, police said at the monthly Toms River Neighborhood Watch meeting last night in police headquarters.
"Tips from people are always coming and going. I want to thank the public's latest bit of information that led to many arrests," Sergeant Shaun O’Keeffe said.
Often crime victims attend the neighborhood watch meetings, deciding to get involved. Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the meetings often share crime prevention tips, and discuss trends or recent police activity with the community.
One recent burglary victim said there were certain steps he would have taken beforehand to help recover stolen property. Insurance companies recommend for recovery that a documented list and pictures are kept of all valuables.
"You hear people say they feel violated after — it really happens," said the man. "Walking in and seeing stuff thrown all over, everything disshelved."
The burglary of his home led to changes in how he lives, he said. "Since then we've gotten an alarm system... and are just more aware of surroundings."
Chief Mastronardy informed the community that as new technologies are becoming available they will be implemented and utilized for the safety of the town.
Burglary, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, simple assaults and traffic accidents were overall lower than they were in previous months, TRPD analyst Jesse Toma reported at the meeting.
Neighborhood Watches have become one of the most effective ways of preventing crime, Toma said.
Mastronardy said that while many neighborhood watch groups exist in town, often focusing on a small cluster of streets or a section of town, new groups continue to form.
The monthly neighborhood watch at police headquarters is the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Those interested in joinging or forming a neighborhood watch can call the police chief at 732-349-0150.