A flurry of police activity Friday night sparked a wave of misinformation sent across the Internet via email from anxious residents, Far Hills Police Chief Ken Hartman said.
"There was a vehicle of known burglars that were being followed by a task force of about a dozen officers. They landed in Far Hills," Hartman said. "They did not commit any crimes and left the area."
As recently as last week, there was a burglary fitting the pattern of daytime burglaries seen in Morris and Somerset counties for the past few months. Mendham Borough Police Chief Pat Libertino told residents to lock their doors and set their alarms. Libertino also said that the recent string of robberies were the work of a gang.
This week, Mendham Township Police Chief Steve Crawford is asking for residents help in stopping the burglaries.
But in the case of Far Hills on Friday, it appears to be a case of much ado about nothing. According to Hartman, the situation got complicated after a residence was found with a door open.
"We sent officers to check all of the estates in the area to make sure none were burglarized," Hartman said.
Although the door was found to be left open by the homeowner by mistake, the damage was already done as one concerned resident took to the web with an email.
"Unfortunately, the email author caused widespread panic due to her exaggeration," Hartman said. "And another family also added their own twist, which added even more false information."