Recent burglaries to more than a dozen vehicles in Lawrence Township are under investigation by township police, who have one suspect in custody in connection with three of the auto break-ins, according to police spokesman Lt. Mark Ubry.
The majority of the crimes took place during the overnight hours of Thursday, Oct. 25, into Friday, Oct. 26.
Ubry said suspect Durand Turner, 33, of Carroll Street, Trenton, was caught as he was trying to exit one of the burglarized autos on Irwin Place about 1:15 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 26.
Officer Daniel Gladney was on patrol in that neighborhood when he spotted two parked vehicles, a Hyundai and a Honda, with their interior lights on and a black and blue bicycle lying on the ground nearby. Stopping to investigate, Gladney found that the interiors of both vehicles had been “rummaged through,” according to Ubry.
Gladney then spotted one of the doors of a third vehicle nearby, a Toyota, “slowly” being opened, Ubry said. The officer, not certain who was in the Toyota or what they intentions were, immediately took steps to protect himself and ordered the person – later identified as Turner – to get out of the vehicle.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Turner was in possession of three plastic bags of coins, many of which were from Denmark and other countries, Ubry said, adding that Turner was arrested and charged with burglary and theft.
Police are still investigating if any of the other recent vehicle burglaries (listed below) can be linked to Turner or to the two teenagers – Jabril Collier, 19, of the 800 block of Stuyvesant Avenue, Trenton, and a 15-year-old Trenton boy whose name was withheld because he is a juvenile – who were arrested minutes after they allegedly broke into a car on Graf Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
The other recent auto break-ins in Lawrence Township include:
- Princeton Avenue: A GPS unit worth $200 was stolen after someone smashed a window of a customer’s vehicle that had been left a Pathway Car Care Center; the crime was reported at 8:06 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24.
- Betts Avenue: A wallet containing credit cards and other personal items was stolen from a vehicle; the owner, who could not remember if he had locked the vehicle, reported the crime at 7:48 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, after finding that someone had rummaged through the glove box.
- Hoover Avenue: A vehicle in the driveway of a home was found to have been ransacked, but nothing of value was missing; the owner, who reported the crime at 7:59 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, did not know if the vehicle had been locked.
- Roxboro Road: Police were alerted at 8:15 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, after a woman found that her car, parked in her driveway, had been entered and searched, but nothing of value appeared to have been stolen.
- Hughes Avenue: A wallet containing a driver’s license and other personal items was stolen; the vehicle’s owner reported the crime at 9:43 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, after finding the glove box open; no signs of forced entry was found.
- Hughes Avenue: Loose change was stolen from three vehicles belonging to the same family; they reported the crime after finding the vehicles’ doors open and the interiors ransacked.
- Tiffany Woods Road: About $6 in loose change was taken from a car that was believed to have been left unlocked by its owner; a purple and pink BMX bicycle was found abandoned near the vehicle but it is unclear at this time if that bike is connected to the crime, which was reported to police at 12:08 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.
- Gedney Road: About $10 in loose change and cash was stolen from a vehicle that might have been left unlocked; the owner reported the crime to police at 1:34 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, after finding the interior of the auto ransacked.
- Tudor Lane: A resident called police at 4:17 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, to report that about $2 in loose change had been stolen from her vehicle.
- Graf Avenue: A computer and a GPS unit – worth a combined $1,550 – were stolen from a pickup truck that had one of its windows smashed; the crime was reported to police at 9:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.
- Fountayne Lane: A GPS unit and a $5 bill were stolen from a vehicle that had possibly been left unlocked by its owner; the crime happened sometime during the overnight hours of Wednesday, Oct. 31, into Thursday, Nov. 1.
Anyone with information about any of the crimes is asked to call Lawrence Township police at (609) 896-1111.