Five teenage boys have been arrested and charged with burglary and theft in connection with a car burglary spree that stretched over two weeks in the Colonial Manor, Oakview and Thorofare sections of the township, Chief Craig Mangano said Thursday.
The group of teens—four 16-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy, all from West Deptford, who were not identified because of their ages—started targeting unlocked cars back on Aug. 17 and continued through Aug. 26, before police were tipped off anonymously and detectives pinned down the alleged burglars through an investigation, Mangano said.
At least 28 cars were hit over those nine days—12 in Colonial Manor, six in Oakview and 10 in the Thorofare section of the township off Red Bank Avenue—and most had items ranging from cash to electronics to wallets stolen, Mangano said. The five teens made off with about $2,500 worth of stuff, he said.
There may be more victims, though, Mangano said—at least a handful had reported break-ins since the initial investigation, and though police believe the five teens were the only ones involved, the case remains open because of the potential for more victims.
A rash of car break-ins over the same time frame in National Park may also be connected to the teens, though neither Westville-National Park police Chief Fred Lederer III nor Capt. Bill Whinna were available to confirm that connection.
Like , the boys went after easy targets—in all cases, the cars were unlocked, and in at least a few, the windows were down, Mangano said.
“These crimes are crimes of opportunity,” he said. “As a precaution, make sure all your vehicles are locked—no matter whether it’s day or night, or if your car is in the street or in your driveway.”
Police still have some unclaimed property seized in the investigation, and Mangano urged anyone who may have been victimized in the burglary spree to get in contact with Detective Cpl. Richard Henry at 856-853-4599, x162.