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Police Blotter: Colonial Bowling Lanes Burglarized, Students Arrested After Marijuana Odor Reported

In another recent case, police were called to investigate after the passenger of a truck allegedly bared his buttocks to a woman after she abruptly stopped her car in traffic.

Apparently, you can build up quite a thirst while trying to break into a building. Well, at least one burglar did recently...

It was 9:47 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, when the manager of Colonial Bowling Lanes called police to report he had just arrived at the bowling alley in the 2400 block of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) and discovered that someone had broken into the building sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. that day, according to Lt. Charles Edgar, spokesman for the Lawrence Township Police Department.

After forcing his way through an exterior door, the burglar tried to break into the bowling alley’s office but was not able to do so, Edgar said. The burglar, however, was able to gain entry to a supply room and ended up stealing three cases of soda worth a total of $35, he said, noting that the stolen drinks included ice tea, root beer and Diet Coke.

The crime remains under investigation by Officer Robert Loveless and Detective Todd Caruso.

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Drug Arrests

Three Rider University students were arrested on drug charges early in the morning on Saturday, Feb. 5.

Township police responded to the Rider campus in the 2000 block of Lawrence Road (Route 206) shortly before 4:30 a.m. in response to an allegation that an odor of marijuana was coming from a room in the Hill residence hall, Edgar said. He said three people in the room were arrested after police and campus security officers discovered a quantity of suspected marijuana and a pipe commonly used to smoke marijuana.

Charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia were Jennifer O’Brien, 18, of Tenafly; Michael P. Martin, 21, of Galloway; and Brian Johnson, 22, of Stewartsville, Edgar said. He said O’Brien was also charged with underage consumption of alcohol.

*   *   *

Unusual Incident

Police investigated an unusual incident in which the passenger of one vehicle allegedly bared his buttocks to the driver of another vehicle, but ultimately no criminal charges were filed by officers.

It was 4:17 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, when police received a call from a 20-year-old Fountayne Lane resident. The woman told police she was driving along Quakerbridge Road when she pulled over because she needed to retrieve something that had just fallen into the center console of her vehicle.

As she did so, she claimed, the driver of a pickup truck traveling behind her blew his horn and then pulled alongside her vehicle, Edgar said. He said the woman claimed to police that the passenger of the pickup truck made a rude hand gesture and then dropped his pants to expose his buttocks to her before the pickup sped away.

Officers were able to locate the pickup truck and its occupants, Edgar said. He said the men told police the woman had slammed on her brakes so abruptly that the pickup’s driver had to swerve in order to avoid a collision.

Edgar said police did not file any charges in the case, but advised the woman of the process by which she can lodge her own complaint against the pickup’s 19-year-old passenger.

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Additional Burglaries  

Two other burglaries were recently reported to township police.

At 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, Officer Mark Harmon was sent to the Verizon Wireless kiosk at Quaker Bridge Mall in the 3300 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1) after an employee there discovered that someone had broken into a cabinet and removed more than $600 in cash, Edgar said. He said the break-in took place between the kiosk closing Thursday night and the employee reporting to work on Friday. Harmon and Detective William Chester are investigating.

A gas range and hood valued at about $400 were stolen after someone burglarized a township-owned condominium unit on Poillon Court in the Lawrence Square Village development sometime between Feb 3 and Feb. 7. The crime was discovered and reported to police about 11:15 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7, by an official from Lawrence Township’s Affordable Housing Board, who was checking the vacant condo in anticipation of a new family moving in, Edgar said. Officer Shaun Sexton and township detectives are investigating.  

*   *   *

Driving Under the Influence of Narcotics

About 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, police received a call reporting there was a man who appeared to be slumped over in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in a parking lot off Quakerbridge Road by Avalon Way, Edgar said. He said officers located the vehicle and, upon approaching it, smelled what they believed to be burnt marijuana.

Edgar said the man sitting in the driver’s seat – later identified as Stanley Swain II, 25, of Cavalier Drive, Hamilton – was interviewed by police and subsequently arrested on multiple drug possession charges and driving under the influence of narcotics.

*   *   *

Frauds

On Tuesday, Feb. 1, a 60-year-old Lewisville Road resident called police to report that he had received a phone call from a person claiming to be a United States customs official who told the man he owed the government $2,000 in fines because he had purchased medications from a pharmacy in the Dominican Republic, Edgar said. At first, he said, the 60-year-old believed the call might be legitimate because he had purchased medicine over the internet in 2003. But the man grew suspicious and later confirmed there was no government agency at the address in New Brunswick to which he was supposed to send the $2,000. Edgar said police are investigating the origin of the call.

In another case of fraud, a 22-year-old resident of Northbrook Avenue called police about 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, to report that he had just learned that someone had opened up a cellular phone account in his name and run up a bill of $400, Edgar said, noting that that crime also remains under investigation.  

*   *   *

Resisting Arrest

Called to investigate a minor disturbance in a room at the Howard Johnson’s Motor Lodge at Brunswick Pike (Route 1) and Franklin Corner Road about 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6, police officers were attempting to interview the four parties involved when one of the foursome allegedly became uncooperative.

Edgar said the man, Dwayne Ames, 29, of Drift Avenue in Lawrence, allegedly refused repeated requests from officers to step aside from the doorway that he was blocking. Remaining uncooperative even after “numerous” warnings from the officers, Ames was arrested on a charge of obstructing justice, Edgar said.

He said Ames subsequently refused to cooperate as officers were trying to handcuff him, so he was also charged with resisting arrest.

 *   *   *

Shoplifting Arrests

Edgar said the following individuals were recently charged with shoplifting:

  • A 14-year-old girl from Trenton, whose name was not released because she is a juvenile, was arrested at about 9:25 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4, after she allegedly concealed $55 worth of jewelry in the back pocket of her pants and tried to leave the Macy’s department store at Quaker Bridge Mall without paying. Officer Robert Wagner made the arrest.
  • Gerda Powers, 62, of the 2000 block of Princeton Pike in Lawrence, was arrested about 12:55 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, after she allegedly tried to leave the Sears department store at Quaker Bridge Mall with $109 worth of items she had not paid for, including a ring she had allegedly put on her finger and clothing she had concealed in a bag. She was also found to be wanted in connection with a $99 outstanding warrant from Trenton. Officer Erini Papafilipakis made the arrest.
  • Divyaraddy Gongati 26, of Pheasant Hollow Drive in Plainsboro, was arrested about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, after she allegedly hid $83 worth of unpaid jewelry in her purse and tried to exit the Sears store at Quaker Bridge Mall. The arrest was made by Officer Thomas Chianese.
  • A 17-year-old girl from Princeton, whose name was not released because she is a juvenile, was arrested about 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, after she allegedly attempted to leave the J.C. Penney department store at Quaker Bridge Mall with $81 worth of sneakers and clothing hidden in a bag. The arrest was made by Officer Chris Stylianou.
  • A 12-year-old girl from Trenton, whose name was also withheld because she is a juvenile, was arrested by Officer Stylianou about 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6, after she allegedly removed a $10 pin from a package, placed the pin in her purse, and tried to leave the J.C. Penney store without paying.

 

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, Feb. 4, through Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, can be downloaded 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.)

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