hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Adding to a multi-town spree that police say may be the work of one individual or group, at least 21 vehicles were illegally entered and burglarized in Shrewsbury last Friday.

In all cases, the vehicles were unlocked, said police Chief John Wilson.

The break-ins were all concentrated in a residential section of town near the Monmouth County Library branch, Wilson said.

The suspect(s) took “whatever was loose,” from cars, he said. In one case, somebody took a wallet — but not its contents.

“I guess they just needed a wallet,” Wilson said.

In another instance, one home had four cars in the driveway. Two were locked.

“And of course the two that were unlocked, they took the change,” Wilson said.

“The funny thing is we’re taking in all these reports, and people say, ‘we saw your message to lock our doors, and we just didn’t,'” Wilson said

The latest big hit in illegal entries raises the total number of vehicles that have been broken into to between 40 and 50 in the last month to six weeks, Wilson said.

And with near certainty, Wilson said the crimes are linked to break-ins in Red Bank, Little Silver, Fair Haven and Rumson.

None have been reported in Red Bank or Fair Haven since redbankgreen‘s last news update.

The break-ins tend to occur around 2 a.m., Wilson said, and they’re believed to involve more than one suspect.

“I’m going to guess it’s got to be two or more to hit that many cars in that amount of time,” he said.

Shrewsbury continues to work with other departments to try and track down suspects.

Anyone with information in any of the cases is asked to contact your local police department.