🚨Toms River has been hit by a rash of home break-ins

🚨Police Chief Mitch Little is getting help from other agencies

🚨He meets with the community Sunday night

TOMS RIVER — Ocean County law enforcement is focused on the recent home invasions that have resulted in the theft of cash, jewelry and vehicles.

Two more incidents happened early Thursday in the Tallymawr Estates development, according to Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little. Video of one of the break-ins posted by The Lakewood Scoop shows masked thieves wearing black from head to toe as they walk around the house opening drawers.

They got away with $10,000 worth of jewelry and valuables and stole a vehicle from another house.

The trio was scared off from a third house when the owner flicked the lights as they approached the garage.

In another case, the homeowner awoke to find an intruder standing at the foot of the bed with a gun pointed at them. 

The same group is believed to be responsible for all the incidents,  according to Little.

"We're just trying to do everything we can right now to put some peace of mind in the residents. I mean, there's literally people that are afraid to go to sleep. That's how bad it's getting,"  Little told New Jersey 101.5.

ALSO READ: 2 more Toms River homes broken into, vehicle stolen

Why is Toms River attractive to thieves?

Toms River is adding patrols to the overnight hours while working with other agencies to combat the increase in crime.

One step is the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office putting out undercover cars. Another is the Ocean County Sheriff's Office is placing several license plate readers around the township. Little admits that alone isn't enough.

"It'll pick up that car is stolen but then we have to get a unit in the area to try to intercept the vehicle and then if we get in a high-speed pursuit, we have to make determinations whether we're gonna continue that pursuit or break it off because it get too dangerous," Little said.

The department has worked out a plan that has proven successful. If there is a description of a vehicle available surrounding towns are notified and they place patrol vehicles in pre-determined locations in hopes of intercepting the vehicle.

The north end of Toms River is attractive to thieves because many of the residents are wealthy, according to Little. Another is the easy escape on the town's roads and highways.

"Route 70, the Parkway going into different towns. They can leave the Whitesville Road area and get into Lakewood, Jackson, and then get onto the Parkway.

ALSO READ: Why are the lights on NJ police vehicles a solid blue?

Notice about community meeting with Toms River police
Notice about community meeting with Toms River police (Toms River police)

Community meeting Sunday night

Little is holding a community meeting on Sunday to discuss the thefts and their plans to fight back at the crimes.

"I want to at least let the residents know what is actually going on behind the scenes, and how much everybody is working on this. I understand the frustration. I really do. If somebody broke into my house, I'd want a police car sitting in my driveway with my own private security. But we know that's not practical," Little said.

Little discourages residents from taking matters into their own hands or becoming vigilantes.

"I understand the eyes and ears on the street. But then they become part of the problem sometimes when they're driving their own high-end cars around. We're thinking it might be a stolen vehicle and used in the commission of a crime. So now we start following them and stopping them and they say 'Oh, no, I'm just a resident trying to protect my neighborhood,'" Little said.

The Sunday meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at police headquarters on Oak Avenue in Toms River.

Report a correction 👈 | 👉 Contact our newsroom

Solar eclipse mania! What NJ sungazers need to know for April 8, 2024

Gallery Credit: Dan Zarrow

Cutest pets in New Jersey — 2024 edition

New Jersey 101.5 and PetCenter Old Bridge are looking for the Garden State's cutest pet in New Jersey! We received HUNDREDS of entries before we randomly selected our winner. Below are just SOME of the CUTEST critters that our listeners share their homes and lives with.

Gallery Credit: New Jersey 101.5

NJ Street Fairs are back! See the latest 2024 schedule

All New Jersey street fairs are listed in date order. New locations may be added as the year progresses so please check back often for updates.

Gallery Credit: Mike Brant

More From Cat Country 107.3