A “significant amount” of cash and jewelry were taken from a home in the Rio Vista section of town Saturday, according to Mahwah Police Chief Jim Batelli.
Batelli said the burglary occurred sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, when the house was unoccupied. Homeowners discovered ransacked rooms and closets, and missing money and merchandise upon returning home, police said.
According to Batelli, investigation revealed signs of experienced burglars with a “specific method.”
The chief said responding county investigators saw signs indicating that the burglars checked the house to make sure it was vacant before entering.
“The homeowner stated the alarm was activated when they left the house although it was determined that the alarm wires on the outside of the house were cut,” he said.
Batelli said the intruders forced entry into the home through the front door, then “the suspects went to the basement where additional alarm wires were cut and torn from the panel. Several doors in the basement were open as they apparently looked for the alarm panel wiring.”
This theft is the latest in a string of six similar burglaries in that immediate area since Fall 2010, police said.
Chief Batelli said police suspect “these burglaries are being committed by the same group that has been operating in Rockland, Passaic and Bergen counties and are an offshoot of the James Bond Gang that was prevalent in the early 90's.”
The James Bond Gang received that nickname in the 1990’s because they used a rigged getaway car in an attempt to hide from police. The vehicle was able to shut off its rear and license plate illumination lights, and had secret compartments inside in which burglars could hide stolen merchandise.
Police said they are aware that members of this group “are planned and deliberate in their actions.”