Thursday, March 20, 2014

Information regarding suspicious incidents reported in Bergenfield

The Bergenfield Police Department is releasing this information to keep our residents informed of suspicious incidents that were reported to us as “lurings” and have parents and children concerned for their safety. We want our residents to know that every incident is thoroughly investigated and taken seriously. I refer to these incidents as “suspicious” because the majority reported do not have the elements of the offense of Luring (NJSA 2C:13-6). 

See the link below for additional legal information.

If the elements are not present as reported by the complainant, victim or witness, BPD officers will still investigate and turn the matter over to the detective bureau for follow up. Many cases have been resolved, whereby the matter was not a luring incident, but rather a motorist attempting to ask directions or in some cases, the report was fabricated by the juvenile victim/complainant. I emphasize that every case is fully investigated and when facts of the case meet the elements of the offense, the detectives waste no time in getting the information out via a media release and using our social media communication tools. 

Detectives also contact school authorities in an effort to inform as many people as possible and allow school officials to also disseminate information about the incident or incidents. In some cases that are suspicious and the motive is unknown, notifications will still be sent out seeking information so the matter can be properly investigated. Detectives also work in conjunction with surrounding police agencies and the Prosecutor’s Office to compare cases looking for any similarities. 

At this time, there have been cases reported in Bergen County, but there are no similarities in person or vehicle descriptions. Even though no similarities exist yet, the BPD requests residents to remain vigilant in their neighborhoods and when driving about the borough. If you see something suspicious or your child reports something suspicious, please contact the BPD to report it. We will investigate as I stated above. The police department does not want to alarm the community that a “child lurer” is about when no facts exist or can be corroborated. We do want people to trust that we will inform them when suspicious incidents occur and we will be quick to release information when an incident is confirmed. 

Our recent suspicious incidents are posted on our website at

We have articles and media releases also posted on our blog at

Below is great information as taken from a recent NIXLE alert sent by our neighboring township, Teaneck. I share these bullets with you as they are great tips to teach and follow:
  • Parents are also urged to speak to their children about their safety whether they are in a vehicle or on foot.
  • Teach your child, when s/he is outside, to always walk with at least one other person. Groups of more than two are better.
  • When your child is outside the house, do not allow him or her to wear clothing or a backpack or other articles with his/her name visible on it. Children are more likely to trust someone who calls them by name.
  • Teach your child to stay more than an adult arm’s length away from any car that is occupied by a person trying to talk to him/her, so that they cannot be reached by the person inside the car.
  • Teach your child if someone encourages him or her to get into a car, to help find a lost pet, or to leave with them for any reason, s/he should yell “NO” as loudly as possible and run to the  closest adult whom they know and trust. Yelling "No," also called the POWER NO, indicates your child has been prepared for the situation.
  • Teach your child to run in the opposite direction from the one the car is facing. It is harder to drive in reverse than straight ahead.
  • Teach your child their full name, address and if, there is one, the “best” phone number (including area code) to call in case of an emergency. If you make it into a song, younger children may be more likely to remember it. If no phone number is reliable, teach your child to call 911 for help.
  • Teach your older child to pay attention to the color and make of the vehicle and/or its license information (state and number), the physical characteristics of the person(s), and where s/he was when approached. Suggest that this information be written down as soon as it can be done safely.
  • Remind your child to call 911 to report any attempted luring.
  • Make a daily note of the clothing your child is wearing just in case you need to provide that information later. Also keep a current school picture, or other recent photograph of your child available.
"The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence."
- Robert Peel

Thank you for being part of the efforts to keep our community safe. Be a crime stopper and report crimes and suspicious activity.

Please note, Tri-Community Crime Stoppers is now on Facebook.

You can also find BPD on Twitter, Facebook and receive notifications from us by signing up for Nixle.


Michael T. Carr

Chief of Police

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