Police Blotter: Cops Probe Car Thefts and Break-Ins
Here's a roundup of notable police activity in Lawrence Township from Aug. 6 through Aug. 9.
Motor Vehicle Theft
Officer Thomas Chianese is investigating the theft of a vehicle which was later located after it was involved in an accident, according to Detective Sgt. Joseph Amodio, a Lawrence Township police spokesman.
It was 8:32 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, when police were informed that a vehicle’s bumper was lying in the middle of the road on Darrah Lane near Lawrence Road (Route 206), Amodio said.
He said Officer Chianese responded and found evidence that the bumper had fallen off after a vehicle struck a nearby guardrail. Using the number of the license plate that was still attached to the bumper, Chianese identified the vehicle as a 2005 Volvo and went to the home of the registered owner on Hillsdale Road.
Further investigation revealed that the owner was out of town and that the vehicle had been stolen, Amodio said.
He said the Volvo was later located a block away on Lawnside Drive. A resident of Lawnside Drive told police the damaged Volvo had been parked there since late in the evening on Saturday, Aug. 4.
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Motor Vehicle Theft
At 12:25 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6, police were informed that a vehicle was missing from a residence on Trumbull Avenue. Amodio said the owner was out of town but friends keeping an eye on the home noticed that the vehicle was gone and called police to report it as possibly having been stolen. He said the vehicle’s disappearance is being investigated by Officer Hector Nieves.
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Motor Vehicle Theft
Officer Edwin Podbielski is investigating the theft of a vehicle that was taken from the driveway of a home on Garry Court, off Bunker Hill Road, sometime between the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 8, and the morning of Thursday, Aug. 9, according to Amodio. He said the owner of the 2006 Mercury Grand Marquis told police the vehicle had been left unlocked, with the keys inside it. The theft was reported to police at 4:18 p.m. on Aug. 9.
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Drug Offense & Thefts
Two teenagers – Dejonce Allen, 18, of Spring Street, Trenton, and a 16-year-old male whose identity was not disclosed because he is legally considered a juvenile – were arrested shortly after 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and each charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana, Amodio said.
He said Officer Shaun Sexton was on patrol in the Colonial Heights neighborhood when he noticed that the interior lights of several parked cars were lit, suggesting that someone might have broken into the autos.
Sexton did a quick search of the area and found Allen and the 16-year-old walking nearby and stopped them for questioning, Amodio said. As a result of that investigation, he said, the teenagers were allegedly found to be in possession of marijuana and were arrested.
He said police then did a more thorough search of the neighborhood and discovered that three cars had been entered.
Stolen from a 2002 Volvo parked on Pilgrim Avenue was a $56 dollar bottle of alcohol, he said. On Ohio Avenue, two vehicles – a 1992 Lexus and a 2006 Nissan – were found to have had their interiors “rummaged through” but nothing of value was stolen, he said.
All three vehicles had been left unlocked by their owners, Amodio added.
He said Officer Daniel Gladney is investigating the car break-ins and is working to determine if the crimes were committed by the two teenagers arrested by Sexton or if someone else was responsible.
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Three women from South Jersey were arrested and charged with robbery after a Macy’s loss prevention officer was hurt while trying to detain the women after they allegedly shoplifted from the department store at Quaker Bridge Mall on Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) about 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, Amodio said.
Amodio said the women – identified as Marcella McClain, 24, of Bridgeton; Marquetta Loatman, 25, of Vineland; and Sade Davis, 25, of Bridgeton – allegedly fled the Macy’s with about $400 worth of stolen clothes. A store security guard caught up with them as they were getting into a car in the parking lot, he said.
One of the women – Davis – tried to jump into the vehicle through an open rear window, but she didn’t make it all the way inside and the security guard grabbed hold of her, he said. He said the security guard briefly held onto Davis as the car started to drive away, suffering cuts and bruises as he was dragged a short distance. The man’s injuries were not serious.
Amodio said the vehicle was later stopped on mall property by Sgt. Joseph Lech and the three women arrested.
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Driving Under the Influence
Justin Scott, 18, of Alcazar Avenue in Lawrence was arrested about 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, and charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, and related offenses, Amodio said.
Officer Erini Papafilipakis allegedly smelled an odor of alcohol coming from Scott after she stopped to check why the vehicle Scott was driving was obstructing traffic in the 2700 block of Princeton Pike, Amodio said. He said that Scott, being under the legal drinking age, was taken into custody on suspicion of drunk driving.
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Wayne Lomicky, 41, of Bethlehem, Pa., was charged with shoplifting, possession of burglary tools and receiving stolen property after he was arrested at the Lord & Taylor department store at Quaker Bridge Mall about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8, Amodio said.
He said Lomicky was detained after he was allegedly caught trying to steal $800 worth of clothing. When arrested by Sgt. Joseph Lech, Lomicky was found to be in possession of a tool used to remove security sensors from the clothing, Amodio said.
He said a subsequent search of Lomicky’s vehicle, located in the mall parking lot, revealed additional items that had allegedly been stolen from other stores in Lawrence Township and neighboring towns.
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 Monday, Aug. 6, through Thursday, Aug. 9, 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.