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Police Blotter: Lawrence Man Charged with DUI After His Vehicle Hits NJDOT Pickup During Snow Storm

Here's a roundup of notable police activity in Lawrence Township from Nov. 7 through Nov. 14.

Driving Under the Influence

Rafael A. Rodriguez, 32, of Colonial Lake Drive, Lawrence Township, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, assault by auto and seven other offenses after the vehicle he was driving slammed into the rear of a state Department of Transportation pickup truck along the southbound side of Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) about 1:10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, according to Lawrence Township police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.

It was snowing at the time and the NJ DOT pickup, with its amber warning lights on, was escorting state plow trucks that were clearing snow from the road, Urby said, adding that the pickup’s driver – a Bristol, Pa., resident – complained of pain to his neck following the collision.

Rodriguez allegedly jumped from his vehicle and ran after the collision, Ubry said, but Officer Daniel Gladney and Sgt. Chris Longo located him a short time later at the Sleep-E-Hollow motel on the other side of Route 1 and took him into custody. The charges against Rodriguez were filed by Officer Andres Mejia.

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Driving Under the Influence

Garrett A. Eckhoff, 30, of Country Lane, Ewing Township, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after the vehicle he was driving was stopped by police about 2:10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 9, Ubry said, explaining that Officer Scott Stein initiated the traffic stop after allegedly observing Eckhoff disregard the traffic signal at the intersection with Mulberry Street.

Stein detected a strong odor of alcohol coming from Eckhoff’s person and eventually took Eckhoff into custody after the 30-year-old performed poorly on field sobriety tests, Ubry said. He said Eckhoff was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test, driving with a suspended license, and eight other offenses.

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Driving Under the Influence

Stacy A. Carney, 53, of Spring Street, Princeton Borough, was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving and assault by auto after she lost control while rounding a curve on Province Line Road, about 500 feet from Canal View Drive, and the vehicle she was operating collided with another auto about 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7, according to Ubry. He said the driver of the other vehicle, a 38-year-old Lawrence Township resident, suffered injuries to his chest and knees.

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Driving Under the Influence

Bruce O’Neill, 47, of Mimosa Court, Lawrence Township, was charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving after his vehicle was involved in an accident on Keefe Road about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, according to Ubry.

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Vehicle Theft

At 10:43 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, a South Brunswick resident reported to police that his four-wheel Kawasaki all-terrain vehicle was stolen from the parking lot of the Trenton Farmers’ Market on Spruce Street earlier that night, Ubry said, noting that the ATV was valued at $1,900.  

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Burglary

Detective Robert Potter and Officer Marc Caponi are investigating a burglary that took place sometime between 11 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, and 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, at the property of CM Worrall Inc. in the 2600 block of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1), according to Ubry.

He said three locked storage containers were broken into and chainsaws, blowers, trimmers, edgers, power pruners and other landscaping equipment stolen. A value for the stolen items was not yet available.

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Burglary

A burglary investigation was launched after police responded to a disturbance between an Albermarle Road resident and his 17-year-old neighbor Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 13.

The victim told police that when he woke from an afternoon nap he noticed that his wallet – which he had left on his kitchen counter – was missing, Ubry said, noting that the rear door to the victim’s home was unlocked at the time. He said the victim spotted the teenage girl walking past his house just then and confronted her, accusing her of stealing the wallet.

Ubry said the girl denied taking the wallet and said she was only walking by at the time to get to her own home. The matter remains under investigation by Officer Edwin Podbielski.

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Drug Offense

Martha Harlos, 27, of Rileyville Road, East Amwell, was arrested about 7:40 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, and charged with possession of under 50 grams of marijuana and disorderly conduct, Ubry said.

Officer Shaun Sexton, responding to investigating a complaint about a woman “dancing in the street,” found Harlos standing in the road, just off the curb, on Franklin Corner Road, about 150 feet from the intersection with Route 1, Ubry said. He said she was wearing headphones and appeared to be under the influence of something.

When Sexton directed her to get out of the roadway, she began to scream – so loud, in fact, that police received several 911 calls from concerned neighborhood residents, according to Ubry, who said police later discovered Harlos’ vehicle parked at the gas station at the corner of Franklin Corner Road and Route 1.   

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Theft

An electrical subcontractor working on the ongoing renovations at Quaker Bridge Mall called police at 9:28 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, to report that sometime between 7 o’clock that morning and 5:30 p.m. the previous evening someone stole his scissor lift, which he had left in a service hallway near one of the mall’s loading docks, Ubry said. He said the lift was worth $8,000.

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Theft

An employee at Superior Chevrolet on Renaissance Boulevard called police at 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, to report that someone entered the unlocked bed cap of his pickup truck and stole about $600 worth of tools and other property sometime between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. that evening while he was working, Ubry said. Officer Marc Poveromo is investigating.

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Theft

A wallet containing cash, a debit card, credit cards and other personal items was stolen from a 72-year-old Ewing Township woman as she shopped at the Bed, Bath and Beyond store in the Mercer Mall shopping center in the 3300 block of Route 1 (Brunswick Pike) between 4 and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, Ubry said.

The elderly woman told police she believes the theft occurred when she briefly left her purse unattended in her shopping cart while she looked at bath mats, he said. Suspected in the crime is woman who was in the store at the time, but the 72-year-old was only able to describe the suspect as being slim and between 30 and 50 years old.  

It was later learned that more than a half-dozen transactions were made using the elderly woman’s stolen debit and credit cards before the cards were cancelled, Ubry said, adding that the crime is being investigated by Officer Daniel Gladney.

 

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 Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Wednesday, Nov. 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.

 

See Also:

  • Nov. 17: “”
  • Nov. 16: “Ewing Woman Dies After Being Hit by Vehicle on Route 206”
  • Nov. 13: “”
  • Nov. 11: “”
  • Nov. 9: “Man Badly Hurt When Ejected from Car During Crash”

 

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