Police Blotter: Woman Arrested for Allegedly Abusing Own Child
Here's a roundup of notable police activity in Lawrence Township from Aug. 28 through Sept. 3.
On Thursday, Aug. 30, a 28-year-old Lawrence Township woman was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.
The investigation began, Ubry said, after Lawrence Township detectives were contacted by Princeton Borough police who had received information alleging that the 28-year-old was physically abusing her 3-year-old son.
Township Detective William Chester and Officer Robert Loveless conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
Ubry said the alleged abuse is physical in nature only and not sexual.
The woman’s name and her address were withheld to protect the identity of the child, who was placed in the temporary care of the state.
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A Myrtle Avenue resident was walking along Princeton Avenue, near Vermont Street, when her purse was snatched away from her by two young men who took off running down Mulberry Street about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, Ubry said.
A friend of the victim who saw what happened jumped into his vehicle and went after the two thieves, Ubry said. He said the man caught up with the pair – who appeared to be in their teens – and yelled at them. They dropped the purse and kept running. The man retrieved the purse and returned it to the woman. Nothing appeared to have been taken from the purse.
Officer Chris DiMeglio is investigating. Police ask anyone with information about the identities of the two young men to call them at (609) 896-1111.
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A shoplifting suspect, Marvin McLendon, 51, of Passaic Street, Trenton, was arrested after he allegedly led police of a brief foot chase about 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, according to Ubry.
He said McLendon allegedly stole 12 bars of Dove soap and some Nivea body wash – worth a total of $56 – from the CVS Pharmacy at 1900 Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) by stuffing the items down his pants and exiting the store without paying. Store employees spotted the alleged shoplifting and immediately called police.
McLendon allegedly ran when officers arrived in the area. Detective Dave Burns ran after McLendon and eventually took him into custody near Haveson Avenue with the assistance of two Lawrence Township volunteer firefighters who happened to be in the area, Ubry said.
McLendon was charged with shoplifting and resisting arrest, he said.
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Three 17-year-old Lawrence Township boys – whose names were not released because they are still considered juveniles under the law – were arrested and each charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on Wednesday, Aug. 29, Ubry said.
Officer Sean Kerins was on patrol when he spotted a vehicle, occupied by the three teenagers, parked on the Lawrence Intermediate School property shortly before 10 p.m. Upon investigating what the juveniles were doing on school grounds, Kerins allegedly discovered that the 17-year-olds had marijuana in their possession, according to Ubry.
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A 17-year-old girl is being sought on robbery, weapon possession and assault charges in connection with an incident that took place at Quaker Bridge Mall on Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) about 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, Ubry said.
It was during a fight between six or seven girls ages 15 to 17 that the suspect allegedly discharged a chemical spray in the face of another girl and then stole from the victim a shopping bag containing $157 worth of clothes just purchased from the Justice store in the mall, he said.
Another 17-year-old girl who was involved in the dispute has already been arrested and charged with simple assault for allegedly punching another girl in the face, Ubry said.
He said the two girls who were hurt in the melee suffered only minor injuries.
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Officer Steve Simon was dispatched to Greenacres County Club in the 2100 block of Lawrence Road (Route 206) after management there called police at 7:11 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, to report that the greens on the golf course’s seventh and 14th holes had been damaged by someone dragging something through the grass, Ubry said.
The vandal(s) drew three large objects onto the greens: a smiley face and a tic-tac-toe board with Xs and Os, each about 30 feet wide, and a castle measuring about 27 feet, Ubry said. He said the crime is believed to have taken place between 4 and 5 p.m. that day. Damage was estimated at about $500.
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At 11:51 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 29, a resident of the Westgate apartment complex in the 500 block of Lawrence Road (Route 206) called police to turn over five small baggies containing a substance believed to be heroin, Ubry said. He said the resident found the baggies stuffed into an otherwise empty cigarette pack that was on the ground near the apartment complex’s Dumpster. The suspected heroin was collected by Officer Mark Harmon and logged as evidence.
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Theft / Stolen Property Recovered
An all-terrain vehicle valued at $750 was stolen from the side yard of a home on Johnson Avenue between 1 p.m. on Aug. 29 and 1 p.m. on Aug. 30, Ubry said, noting that the resident reported the theft to police at 1:50 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 30. He said the ATV’s engine did not run, so the thief likely had to push it out of the yard.
Detectives investigating the crime the next morning (Friday, Aug. 31) located the stolen ATV hidden among the weeds next to the nearby Johnson Trolley Line pedestrian/bicycle path, Ubry said. The investigation into the theft is continuing.
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At 6:42 a.m. police responded to West Laurel Wood Drive after a resident called 911 to report seeing a suspicious, hooded male who appeared to be looking into vehicles parked in the neighborhood, Ubry said.
The man fled the area before police arrived. As they searched the area, officers learned that a wallet had been stolen from a vehicle that might have been left unlocked by its owner. A debit card that had been removed from the wallet and the wallet itself were found discarded in the neighborhood, but $80 in cash and some papers were missing from the wallet, Ubry said.
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At 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 3, police received a call from a Pear Street resident reporting he could see two men stealing a wheelbarrow from the rear yard of a home on Michigan Avenue, Ubry said. The caller described the men as both being Hispanic, about 20 to 25 years old, thin, and wearing jeans. One was 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, while the other was about 6 feet to 6 feet 1 inch tall.
Officer Andrew Lee spotted the suspects on nearby Indiana Avenue in Trenton and attempted to apprehend them. But after a foot chase through several yards, the men eluded capture. The wheelbarrow, however, was recovered. But the resident of the home on Michigan Avenue later discovered that two lawnmowers had been stolen from his yard, Ubry said.
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Jorge Morales-Strada, 45, of New Brunswick was arrested about 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, and charged with possession of fraudulent government documents after he allegedly tried to use a fake green card and a fake social security card to obtain a state driver’s license at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission facility on Route 1 (Brunswick Pike), Ubry said.
An alert MVC employee recognized the documents as fake while checking that Morales-Strada was in compliance with the state’s 6-point ID verification system, Ubry said, adding that Morales-Strada was arrested by Officer Ryan Dunn.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were notified of the arrest.
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Stolen Vehicle Recovered
Shortly before 2 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, a 1999 Dodge Caravan that had been reported stolen in Philadelphia was located on Mapleleaf Drive in Lawrence Township, according to Ubry. Philadelphia police and the vehicle’s owner were notified.
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Stolen Vehicle Recovered
Jemar Conover, 28, of the 1200 block of West State Street, Trenton, was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property after he was allegedly caught at about 5 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, at the Mount’s Motel in the 2900 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) with a 2012 Chevrolet Impala that had been reported stolen by the Hertz car rental company, according to Ubry. He said Officer Steve Simon made the arrest.
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Officer Bruce Miller and Detective Dave Burns are working to determine who was responsible for spray-painting vulgar words and phrases on seven vehicles during the overnight hours of Saturday, Sept. 1, into Sunday, Sept. 2, Ubry said, noting that the first call about the crime was received at 6:29 a.m. Sept. 2.
The spray-painted vehicles included a box truck, a van, a utility truck and three pickup trucks parked on Lawn Park Avenue and a minivan on Meadowbrook Avenue near Lawrence Road (Route 206). Blue, white and red spray-paint was used.
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At 9:19 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 2, a woman called police to report that her wallet – containing about $300 in cash – and her cell phone valued at $100 were stolen from her bag while she was at the bar at Houlihan’s restaurant at Mercer Mall on Route 1, Ubry said. He said the woman told police the theft happened while her bag was hanging from her chair at the bar.
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 Tuesday, Aug. 28, through Monday, Sept. 3, 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.