Police Blotter: Break-In at Former Firehouse Under Investigation
Here's a roundup of notable police activity in Lawrence Township from Aug. 10 through Aug. 14.
Lawrence Township police are investigating a burglary that took place at the former Lawrenceville Volunteer Fire Co. substation on Lawrence Square Boulevard North during the early hours of Tuesday, Aug. 14, according to police department spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.
He said police discovered pry marks and other evidence indicating that someone tried to force their way into the old firehouse, which is now used by the township public works department for storage. The fire company stopped using the building many years ago because not enough volunteers lived close enough to adequately staff a fire engine.
In addition to that attempted break-in, police found that someone had entered a detached shed located behind the old firehouse by prying away the hasp on the shed’s door, Ubry said. But he noted that nothing appeared to have been stolen and the burglar attempted to conceal the break-in by pushing the hasp’s screws back in place.
* * *
Firdavs Mirzaev, 22, of Hawk Road, Lawrence Township, was arrested and charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana after the vehicle he was driving was stopped shortly after 4:10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, for allegedly disregarding a stop sign at the intersection of Bergen Street and Glenbrook Court, according to Ubry.
Officer Andres Mejia initiated a traffic stop after witnessing the alleged traffic violation and took Mirzaev into custody after allegedly finding the 22-year-old with marijuana, Ubry said. He said Mirzaev was issued two traffic summonses in addition to the drug possession offense.
* * *
Stephen Panalver, 35, of Newtown, Pa., was arrested and charged with forgery and theft after he allegedly tried to cash four fraudulent checks at the Bank of America branch at Mercer Mall in the 3300 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) on Friday, Aug. 10, Ubry said.
Bank officials became suspicious about the checks and called police at 4:48 p.m., Ubry said. He said Officer Marc Poveromo initially detained Panalver in the bank’s drive-thru while Officer Chris Stylianou investigated, then the 35-year-old was formally taken into custody for the alleged crime.
* * *
A clay tandoori oven valued at $8,000 was stolen from the Asian Fusion restaurant in the 1800 block of Princeton Avenue sometime between July 1 and Aug. 10 while the eatery was being remodeled, Ubry said. The crime, which was reported to police at 5:40 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, is under investigation by Officer Mark Harmon.
* * *
Vanessa Conroy, 25, of Stratford, N.J., is accused of fraudulently using a Visa debit card to make multiple purchases of more than $20,000 worth of assorted jewelry and Coach handbags and wristlets from the Lord & Taylor department store at Quaker Bridge Mall in the 3300 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1), according to Ubry.
Conroy allegedly made the fraudulent purchases at the Lord & Taylor in Lawrence on Aug. 10. On Saturday, Aug. 11, she was arrested by police in Moorestown after she allegedly tried to commit a similar crime at the Lord & Taylor in that Burlington County municipality, Ubry said.
In reviewing past transactions allegedly committed by Conroy, Lord & Taylor loss prevention officials discovered the Aug. 10 crimes at their Quaker Bridge Mall store and, in turn, notified Lawrence Township police at 4:03 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11, Ubry said. He said Conroy was charged with forgery and theft by deception in Lawrence.
* * *
Two Briggs & Stratton generators and an extension cord – worth a total of $1,375 – were stolen from a box truck parked on Pear Street during the early hours of Sunday, Aug. 12, Ubry said. He said the thief cut a lock to get into the truck. The crime, which happened sometime after 1 a.m. that day, was reported to police at 7:48 a.m. Officer Shawn Sudol is investigating.
* * *
Sometime between 12:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 14, someone stole about $2,000 worth of assorted tools from a work van while it was parked outside the Comfort Inn in the 3200 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1), according to Ubry. He said the thief smashed a window and cut open an interior cage to get to the tools. Officer Ryan Dunn is investigating.
* * *
Officer Marc Caponi is investigating the theft of a lawnmower valued at $300 that was stolen from the back yard of a home in the 1100 block of Brunswick Avenue on Tuesday, Aug. 14, Ubry said, noting that police were notified of the crime at 3:50 p.m. that day.
Anyone with information about any of the above crimes is asked to call Lawrence Township police at (609) 896-1111.
A copy of Lawrence Township's police dispatch log for Friday, Aug. 10, through Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, can be viewed from the PDF box above. This log lists all significant calls for service and incidents for which officers filed a written report. Routine administrative assignments are omitted. Some data has been redacted to protect the identity of crime victims.