Willingboro Neighborhood Watch

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Watch Word 

“We’re Watching”  

www.willingborowatch.org

 Willingboro Neighborhood Watch

PO Box 834

Willingboro, NJ 08046

Quarterly Issue - April - June, 2018

 

 “We’re Watching”   www.willingborowatch.org

Our Mission

The Willingboro Neighborhood Watch has been organized to promote the education of residents and businesses in the Township of Willingboro in areas of crime prevention and quality of life and to assist in the safeguarding of the community, its residents and their properties through voluntary activities including public information, problem solutions and addressing Township problems and concerns.

Neighborhood Watch is based on the premise that the role of watch groups is only to serve as the eyes and ears of law enforcement.  We encourage individual groups to work directly with their local law enforcement agencies to develop procedures for reporting suspicious activities.  At no time do we advocate any intervention actions by any watch group or individual.

_____________________________________________________

 

Acting President’s Message

Hello members,

Hope all is well!

It’s supposed to be Spring, we put our clocks forward an hour and the calendar says, “April”, but why is it still cold? On the TV, they say it is gradually going to get warm and many of us can’t wait!

Now is the time to begin “Spring Clean-up” Our Public Works Department has scheduled Spring Clean Up Week from April 16 – 20, 2018.  “Spring Clean-Up” time gives residents the opportunity to place bulk waste at the curb to be collected by Gold Medal. If you have metal / appliances for pick up or questions, please contact Public Works at (609) 877-2200 ext. 1051, Monday – Friday (7:00AM-3:00PM).

Just a few reminders:

Be careful if hiring anyone to do tree trimming or yard work. 

Keep an eye on the properties around you and report any issues or concerns.

Property Inspections

Our Code Enforcement Officers inspect residential and commercial properties for critical maintenance issues, such as landscaping issues, trash, hazardous debris, and unsanitary conditions.  They also conduct housing, rental, resale, and zoning inspections. 

The Code Enforcement Process

Code enforcement cases can begin in a number of different ways.  Most commonly, a complaint is called into the department by a citizen.  Complaints may remain anonymous or you may leave a name and number so you can be contacted in the future.  To call in a complaint, please call 609-877-2200 extension 1214.

Town Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. 

The School Board meets April 23, 2018 at 7:00pm. Find out what is happening with the budget cuts.

Our newsletter, the "Watch Word" is going digital.  We will have copies available at our meetings and we will continue to have the "Watch Word" on our website: www.willingborowatch.org.

I was chatting with a member today and was so happy to hear her story about calling our Willingboro Police Department and how quickly they were there and resolved the issue. Thanks to our officers! Stay safe! 

As members of Neighborhood Watch, we are the eyes and ears of our community. Our meetings are held the last Wednesday of each month, except August and December. We meet at the Willingboro Senior Center at 7:00pm.   Josselyne Jackson, our Vice President, has set up our speaker schedule based on requests from our members. Hope to see you!

Have a safe, enjoyable Spring 2018.

Mary Jane

 

General Meeting Minutes Overview

January 31, February 28,  and March 28, 2018

January 31, 2018:   Joss introduced Mr. Richard Brevogel. the interim Township Manager as well as Public Works Director.  Mr. Brevogel gave us an overview of the Township Manager responsibilities.  Mr. Brevogel informed us of the new Surveillance System, which involves cameras placed in selected locations within the township to assist law enforcement in solving crimes and provide safety to residents. The new Surveillance System will be explained in detail by Captain McKendrick at the Township Meeting Tuesday, Feb 6.   Mr. Brevogel entertained questions from several  residents. 

Acting President:  Mary Jane distributed pamphlets from Cheri Fodor. The pamphlets are from Penn Medicine & Virtua.  Virtua offers free mammograms to uninsured or under insured women age 40 to 64 in Camden and Burlington counties. 

Police:  Sgt. Rodriguez introduced us to Lt. Robert Welch.  Lt Welch has been with the department for 20 years and is a new addition to the Crime Prevention Unit.  Lt Vetter said the first coffee with a cop for the year is tentative scheduled for February 24th and will be put on social media once confirmed.  Lt Vetter said 2 new officers will start the academy March 5th and graduate tentatively July 12 then will enter a 14 weeks training program with us. If they graduate then they will be available to ride by themselves within one year. There will be 2 to 4 more hires by the end of 2018 not to increase the size of the dept., but to maintain the dept. level at 68 police.  2017 crime stats can be found on the State Police Website under crime stats. Opioid addiction is on the rise.  Willingboro has experienced 2 or 3 deaths this month from opioids.  95% of drugs come in the country through the Mexican border..  

Vice President:  Joss updated us on the 2018 tentative General Meeting Tentative Speaker Schedule

Treasurer:  Cheli reported the bank balance as of 12/31/17 is $1,800.  

Director:   Jay Meyer informed the citizens about the NJ Veterans Tax exemption.

February 28, 2018Acting President:   Mary Jane gave an overview of Charlotte’s health. Charlotte is able to assist the Board with revising paperwork and help developing a plan to contact all members so the roster can be updated.  Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is the deadliest killer in the U.S. More than 400 people die every year from it. Check your detector at least once a year.

Police: Cheri spoke about the ROBOcalls and asked members to contact her if their phone number has changed, so that she can update the listings. Alarm registration was January 1st to January 31st, However, Cheri said she would accept late payments without penalty.   Lt Vetter spoke about the Quarterly Coffee with a Cop this past Saturday, February 24th at Dunkin Donuts.  The Police Dept. has joined a new social media called Next Door.com. It allows communities to talk within certain sections without talking to the entire town. It is Park specific. It also allows Police to get valuable information from citizens in a timely manner. Presently there are 500 residents utilizing it. Willingboro Schools have had hardened security for 18 years.  School Resource Officers are full-time police officers.  Lt Vetter answered questions.

Vice President:  Joss  updated us on the 2018 General Meeting Tentative Speakers Schedule

Treasurer:  Cheli  reported the bank balance as of 1/31/18 is $1952.62.  

Director: Jay informed the citizens about the NJ Veterans Tax exemption.  Beware of Income Tax scam.

Director:  Gary gave an overview of The Annual State of The District held at Willingboro High School last night 2/27.

Speaker:  Joss introduced our speaker for the evening, Detective Sgt. John Michener, the handler of K9 Officer Rickey. Sgt. Michener passed out brochures and explained the purpose for his program. He said a police dog takes a long time to train and is very valuable to the Police force. K9 primary tool is for locating and the secondary tool is use of force.

March 28, 2018:  Acting President:  WNW will participate in June 9th Community Day.. 

Police: Cheri is our liaison with the Crime Prevention Unit.  The bi-annual Operation Take Back Day for Prescription Medication will be on Saturday, April 28 from 10am-2pm at the Police Dept. A ROBOcall will be sent out for a reminder and confirmation.  If anyone in interested in PAL, the website is willingboropal.org.  Sunday, April 8th there will be a banquet for the PAL kick-off at The Kennedy Center from 3pm to 5pm.  Lt Vetter said heroin overdose is on the rise. During the snow storm a lot of parking tickets were issued. Lt Vetter said he is in the process of applying for a permanent prescription medication drop off box via the DEA, to be installed by mid to late summer. Willingboro FOP solicits donations through the mail only (no phone solicitations).  

President:   Charlotte Froman thanked the Board for carrying on in her absence. Charlotte also ask the citizens for help by getting involved, becoming a Board member or participate in community activities with the Board. 

Vice President:  Joss updated us on the 2018 General Meeting Tentative Speaker Schedule

Treasurer:  Cheli  reported the bank balance as of 2/28/18 is $2,002.59.  

Director:  Jay requested inputs for the Newsletter.  Shoprite receipts are due by April 5th.

Director:  Vicki is the President of the Willingboro Education Assn. Vicki gave the citizens an overview of the School District’s Budget and how it would impact all students, teachers, and paraprofessionals and increase taxes.   If anyone wants more information about the School Budget, contact Willingboro Education Assn. at (609)871-9392. Vicki passed out a petition to submit to State Senator Troy Singleton.  Next School Board Meeting is April 23rd at the Administration Building.

Speaker:  Joss introduced our speaker for the evening Brenda Bligen, Director of Willingboro Inspections. Ms. Bligen gave an overview of her department duties, responsibilities and how the process works. There are 4 code enforcers to monitor 12,000 units and 550 vacant homes.  The Inspections Dept. can be contacted at (609)877-2200 ext. 1214 or inspections@willingboronj.gov.

Respectfully submitted,

Henry Bass, Secretary 

Please join us!

Meeting Info:

*Township Council meetings are held the first and third Tuesdays of each month at  7:00PM at the Municipal Building.

*School Board meetings are held the second

and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:00PM at:

Country Club School

Windover Lane

*WNW meetings are held on the last Wednesday of each month at 7:00PM at:

The Kennedy Center

Senior Center

 John F. Kennedy Way

Willingboro, NJ

The exceptions are August & December, when there are no meetings. 

 IRS Warns of New Tax Refund Scam

Stolen Taxpayer Information Used to Steal Refunds

Most data thefts of this kind occur because a tax preparer opened an email and clicked on a link or attachment that contained malware.

The Internal Revenue Service is warning taxpayers of a fast-growing scam 

involving fraudsters stealing their information from professional tax preparers to file fraudulent tax returns.

The scammers use the data to arrange to send refunds to the taxpayers' real bank accounts. Then a scammer posing as a debt collector tells the taxpayer that a refund was erroneously deposited in their accounts and that it should be forwarded to a fake collection agency.

In another twist of the scam, the taxpayer who received the erroneous refund gets an automated call with a recorded voice saying he is from the IRS and threatens the taxpayer with criminal fraud charges, an arrest warrant and a “blacklisting” of their Social Security number. The recorded voice gives the taxpayer a case number and a telephone number to call to return the refund.

“Thieves know it is more difficult to identify and halt fraudulent tax returns when they are using real client data, such as income, dependents, credits and deductions,” the IRS says.  “Generally, criminals find alternative ways to get the fraudulent refunds delivered to themselves rather than the real taxpayers.”

Taxpayers who file electronically may find that their tax return is rejected because a return bearing their Social Security number has already been filed by a scammer. If that happens, taxpayers should follow the IRS’ Taxpayer Guide to Identity Theft. Those who’ve already received erroneous refunds should follow these IRS guidelines.

Most data thefts of this kind occur because the preparer opened an email and clicked on a link or attachment that contained malware, which can download information, give thieves remote access to computers or allow them to see each keystroke. The IRS says tax professional should review this report to safeguard taxpayer data. 

The IRS also points tax professionals to a Don’t Take the Bait campaign, which describes scams used to try to deceive them.

Source:  William E. Gibson, AARP Fraud Watch Network, April 6, 2018

 

Is That Really the IRS Calling?

As tax filing season winds down, don’t lower your guard to the year-round IRS imposter scam. Over the last five years, taxpayers have lost over $60 million to this scam, according to the IRS.

How It Works:  You get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The caller claims you owe a specific amount in taxes, and may threaten to arrest you if you don’t pay immediately. The call may seem legitimate because the caller ID may be rigged to say it’s from the IRS. The caller may even know part of your Social Security number.

What You Should Know: The IRS will never call and demand immediate payment without first sending a notice through the mail. Nor will the IRS ever ask for credit or debit cards over the phone, or threaten you with arrest for nonpayment.

What You Should Do:

  • If you get a call like this, hang up the phone.
  • If a call like this makes you concerned that you may owe taxes, call the IRS directly at (800)829-1040
  • Call AARP’s Fraud Watch Helpline for advice at (877)908-3360.

When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon.  You have the power to protect yourselves and your loved ones from scams.  Please share this alert with friends and family!

Source:  Kathy Stokes:  AARP Fraud Watch Network, April 4, 

 

Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Tips to Help Keep You

and Your Community Safe from Crime

In these times of economic distress, many people are concerned about the threat of rising crime in their communities.  Fortunately, there are ways to help protect your home and your neighborhood from crime. From simple steps like keeping your doors locked to starting a Neighborhood Watch program, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent crime.  Work with your neighbors to keep your neighborhood clean and orderly. Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or nearby shopkeeper, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge, or in the mailbox.  Set timers on lights when you’re away from home or your business is closed, so they appear to be occupied. Illuminate or eliminate places an intruder might hide:  the spaces between trees or shrubs, stairwells, alleys, hallways, and entry ways. With many law enforcement agencies cutting costs, it has never been more important for citizens to work together to prevent crime. 

Neighborhood Safety Tips For Parents

Unfortunately no neighborhood is completely immune to crime. However, there are steps you can take to help keep your family and your neighborhood safe.

  • Know where your children are. Have your children tell you or ask permission before leaving the house and give them a time to check in or be home. When possible, have them leave a phone number of where they will be.
  • Help children learn important phone numbers. Have your children practice reciting their home phone number and address, and your work and cell phone numbers. If they have trouble memorizing these, write them down on a card and have them carry it at all times. Tell your children where you will be and the best way to reach you.
  • Set limits on where your children can go in your neighborhood. Do you want them crossing busy roads? Playing in alleys or abandoned buildings? Are there certain homes in your neighborhood that you don’t want your children to go to?
  • Get to know your children’s friends. Meet their parents before letting your children to go to their home and keep a list of their phone numbers. If you can’t meet their parents, call and talk to them. Ask what your children might do at their house and if they will be supervised.
  • Choose a safe house in your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor’s house where your children can go if they need help. Point out other places they can go for help, like stores, libraries, and police stations.
  • Teach children to settle arguments with words, not fists. Role-play talking out problems, walking away from fist fights, and what to do when confronted with bullies. Remind them that taunting and teasing can hurt friends and make enemies.
  • Work together with your neighbors. Watch out for suspicious and unusual behavior in your neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors and their children so you can look out for one another.

Source:  National Crime Prevention Council

No Talk Phone Scams

Dialing Deceivers Don’t Need You to Say Anything to Rip You Off

Most telephone scammers rely on talk, getting you to pick up the phone so they can give their impersonations of IRS agents, noble fundraisers, tech-support saviors or grandkids in need. But with a new breed of telephone fraudsters, sometimes you don’t even need to say "Hello" to get ripped off. Here’s how some of these crooks may target you.

Call Center Fraud

There are scam artists who spend hours calling the customer service centers of banks, insurance companies and other institutions, posing as people like you, to try to access accounts. These crimes have more than doubled in the past year. “That’s because reps only ask a couple of simple authentication questions — maybe your mother’s maiden name or your Social Security number — before you can transfer money or do whatever,” explains Ken Shuman of Pindrop, a company that provides antifraud services to call centers. 

Scammers start by assembling information on you, stolen in data breaches, purchased on the “dark web” or gleaned with a simple Google search. Then, working from boiler rooms (often overseas), they spend all day phoning different call centers to determine if you have accounts with those companies. With your data in hand, they can often answer the authentication questions that call centers ask. 

ATM PINs are especially prized — and vulnerable, adds Shuman. He notes that there are only 10,000 possible combinations for a four-digit PIN. Unless a bank’s system blocks calls after several tries — and some don’t — there are scammers who call back 150 times a day, trying different PINs until they get it right. Then they immediately log in as you, change your PIN and take over your account. 

Smartphone Swindles

An ever-growing segment of the 20 billion text messages sent each day are attempts at defrauding people through “smishing” (a word that combines the SMS technology that sends text messages and phishing, a ploy to coax confidential information out of you). Typically, a scam texter will fake a problem with one of your financial accounts and ask you for data. Or they might pitch low-cost mortgages or credit cards, or promise free gift cards. If you respond by texting back confidential personal information, your identity may be stolen. Millions of these smishing texts can be launched simultaneously.  

Your best defense is to be stingy with your phone number. Scam texts may result if you provide it to contests, say, or businesses. Mobile apps can also be to blame. When you install them, the fine print in the user agreement may grant permission to the app’s developer to use or sell your phone number and sometimes even the numbers of your contacts. In one recently popular scheme, scammers get your contacts from mobile apps, then text you posing as people you know to seek money or ID-theft-worthy information, says Jonathan Sasse, marketing executive at First Orion, a digital security firm that provides the mobile app PrivacyStar. 

One more important tip: Never follow a text’s instructions to push a designated key to opt out of future messages. Instead, forward the questionable text to short code 7726, so cellphone carriers can block that sender. You can further bolster defenses against mobile scams — which have quadrupled in the past two years — with call-blocking apps such as Hiya, Truecaller, NoMoRobo and PrivacyStar.  

Curiosity Cons

Knowing that you are likely to ignore unrecognized or private numbers on caller ID, today’s crooks use software that allows them to display fake numbers that are hard to resist. Here are some variations.

  • The neighbor ploy:  Your area code and prefix are displayed, so the call appears to be from a neighbor or nearby business. “Fewer people are comfortable blocking local numbers, increasing scammers’ success rates,” notes Jonathan Nelson of Hiya. And the fake number makes it hard for law enforcement to track.
  • The “Hey, there’s a call from my own phone number” scam:  It’s hard to resist answering a call from your own number, which scammers can simulate. And they are able to get around any call blocking that you’ve set up.
  • The one-ring rip-off:  Criminals sometimes program auto-dialers to make repeated calls to you, each disconnecting after just one ring. They know this might spur you into calling back the displayed number to complain. There’s double trouble if you call area codes such as 268, 664 and 876. These are for Caribbean countries and other places that have high per-minute phone charges. One scam involves getting you to call one of those numbers, then getting you to hold through transfers that rack up your bill until a scammer gets on the line and starts a fraudulent pitch

Source:  Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Daily, April 6, 2018

 

 

Safety in Places of Public Assembly

Every day, millions of people wake up, go to work or school, and take part in social events. But every so often the unexpected happens: an earthquake, a fire, a chemical spill, an act of terrorism or some other disaster. Routines change drastically, and people are suddenly aware of how fragile their lives and routines can be. Each disaster can have lasting effects — people may be seriously injured or killed, and devastating and costly property damage can occur. People entering any public assembly building need to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Before You Enter 

  • Take a good look. Does the building appear to be in a condition that makes you feel comfortable? Is the main entrance wide and does it open outward to allow easy exit? Is the outside area clear of materials stored against the building or blocking exits? 
  • Have a communication plan. Identify a relative or friend to contact in case of emergency and you are separated from family or friends. 
  • Plan a meeting place. Pick a meeting place outside to meet family or friends with whom you are attending the function. If there is an emergency, be sure to meet them there. 

When You Enter 

  • Take a good look. Locate exits immediately.  When you enter a building you should look for all available exits. Some exits may be in front and some in back of you. Be prepared to use your closest exit. You may not be able to use the main exit. 
  • Check for clear exit paths. Make sure aisles are wide enough and not obstructed by chairs or furniture. Check to make sure your exit door is not blocked or chained. If there are not at least two exits or exit paths are blocked, report the violation to management and leave the building if it is not immediately addressed. Call the local fire marshal to register a complaint. 
  • Do you feel safe? Does the building appear to be overcrowded? Are there fire sources such as candles burning, cigarettes or cigars burning, pyrotechnics, or other heat sources that may make you feel unsafe? Are there safety systems in place such as alternative exits, sprinklers, and smoke alarms? Ask the management for clarification on your concerns. If you do not feel safe in the building, leave immediately.

During an Emergency

  • React Immediately. If an alarm sounds, you see smoke or fire, or some other unusual disturbance immediately exit the building in an orderly fashion.

  • Get Out, Stay Out!  Once you have escaped, stay out. Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. Let trained firefighters conduct rescue operations.

Source:  National Fire Prevention Association Safety Source, February 2018

County Corner at Moorestown Mall

We are still collecting the following items for the County Corner (located on the Route 38 side of the Moorestown Mall, in the concourse just outside Sears):

  • New or used CDs to be shipped to military service members or recovering wounded soldiers
  • Used cell phones with batteries and chargers for emergency use by seniors and women at risk of domestic violence.  Please bring these in large zip-top bags to keep pieces together.
  • Pet supplies, old blankets and towels, used ink or toner cartridges to support the County Animal Shelter
  • Worn and tattered American flags for proper disposal by the Veterans Services Office

Sponsor Support

 

Please continue to save your ShopRite receipts, and turn them in at our monthly meetings or send them to the WNW post office box:

WNW

P.O. Box 834

Willingboro, NJ 08046

WNW receives a small percentage, which is a major source of funds for our activities.  We submit receipts by quarter: (Jan – Mar) (Apr – June) (July – Sept) (Oct – Dec).  Receipts are due by the 5th of the month following the end of the quarter.  After that, the receipts are not valid for rebate.  Receipts from the following ShopRite stores will be accepted:

ShopRite of Burlington

Wishing Well Plaza

1817 Burlington-Mt. Holly Road (Rte. 541)

  

ShopRite of Delran ShopRite of Ark Road   

1310 Fairview Boulevard 1 27 Ark Road 

 

ShopRite of Hainesport ShopRite of Cinnaminson

Rte. 38 East & Rte. 541 Bypass 141 Rte. 130 South

 

 

 

Meeting and Guest Speaker Schedule for 2018

April 25:  Renee Hurff, BCBA, PEAK

May 30:  Warriors Watch

June 27:  Willingboro Police Department (Members only meeting)

July 25:  Judge Cook

August:  No meeting

September 26:  School Board Forum

October 31:  Undersheriff B. Norcross

November 28:  Annual Membership Social

December:  No Meeting

All meeting places, speakers and dates are subject to change without notice.

Don’t forget to attend and to participate in our meetings, and please volunteer when possible!  Do you have suggestions for a topic or a guest speaker?  Share them with us at our meeting or through our website:

www.willingborowatch.org

 

 
 
 
FROM THE WILLINGBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT 
 

www.willingborowatch.org

OPERATION TAKE BACK--THE DISPOSAL OF UNUSED, EXPIRED, AND UNWANTED PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION

SATURDAY APRIL 28, 2018 

10:00AM – 2:00PM

WILLINGBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT SIDE LOT

PLEASE NO SYRINGES OR OTHER SHARP INSTRUMENTS

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YOUTH POLICE ACADEMY CLASS #9

JULY 30 – AUGUST 17, 2018

APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE AT THE

WILLINGBORO POLICE DEPARTMENT AND 

THE LOBBY OF THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CALL 

(609) 877-2200 EXT. 1065

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