Burglaries from vehicles prompt warning from police


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MANALAPAN – Several burglaries from motor vehicles have been reported to Manalapan police in recent weeks and have led to renewed warnings from police for residents to lock their vehicles at all times.

On Jan. 31 at 3:15 p.m., a resident who lives in the area of Berkshire Court in the Knob Hill development off Route 33 reported that his unlocked vehicle had been entered by unknown individuals during the overnight hours of Jan. 30, according to police.

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The man told police his wallet was removed from the vehicle’s center console. The wallet contained his driver’s license, credit cards and his Social Security card. No other items were removed from the vehicle. Patrolman Matthew Meyler investigated the incident.

The next day, Feb. 1 at 6:40 p.m., officers responded to the Yorktowne shopping center on Gordons Corner Road to investigate a report of a burglary to a motor vehicle.

Capt. Thomas Barstow said the officers determined that three vehicles that were parked near Work Out World had been burglarized sometime between 5-6:40 p.m. Two residents of Manalapan and one resident of Marlboro reported that their purses had been taken from their vehicles as they worked out in the gym.

Anyone with information regarding the thefts from the vehicles at the shopping center is asked to contact police. Patrolman John Lightbody handled the report.

In other incidents reported by police:

• On Feb. 3 at 4 p.m., officers responded to Wawa, Woodward Road, to investigate a report of theft and the use of counterfeit money. Store employees reported that on Jan. 26 and Feb. 2, several individuals made purchases using counterfeit $100 bills.

• On Jan. 30 at 8:33 a.m., a representative of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 9, Route 33, Manalapan, reported the theft of two pieces of equipment with a combined value of $2,844. The equipment was described as a cordless band saw kit and a Mini press tool jaws accessories case. The theft occurred about two weeks prior to Jan. 30.

• On Jan. 20 at 12:10 a.m., Patrolman Sean McCarthy conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 9 south after observing a motor vehicle violation. During the stop, the driver, Andrew Pagan, 22, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and the passenger, Erick Ortiz, 20, of Brooklyn, N.Y., were found to be in possession of more than 3 pounds of a substance believed to be marijuana.

Pagan and Ortiz were arrested and transported to police headquarters where they were processed and released on summonses pending a court date. The charges associated with this incident were possession with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

McCarthy handled the arrest with the assistance of Patrolman Jared Coupland and Patrolman Brian Cruse.

• On Jan. 18 at 7:50 a.m., a Manalapan resident reported that at 4:24 a.m., two men who were driving a white or gray sedan entered a vehicle that was parked in the driveway of a Jared Drive residence. No items were taken from the vehicle.

• On Jan. 18 at 8:20 a.m., a Manalapan resident reported that unknown individuals had entered two locked vehicles while they were parked in the driveway of a Saratoga Drive residence. Burberry sunglasses valued at $200 were taken from one vehicle.

• On Jan. 18 at 11:15 a.m., a Manalapan resident reported that an unknown individual entered his unlocked vehicle while it was parked in the driveway of a Pine Brook Road residence. An iPad Air computer valued at $700 was removed from the vehicle.

• On Jan. 4 at 3:10 p.m., a resident of Monroe Township reported that sometime between 4 p.m. Jan. 3 and 8:15 a.m. Jan. 4, unknown individuals cut the halter off a horse. According to police, the victim believed the perpetrators may have been attempting to steal the horse from a McCaffery Road property. Patrolman Peter Bylsma handled the incident.

• On Jan. 4 at 1:09 p.m., Patrolman Edward Hedden responded to a Tennent Road residence for a report of an attempted burglary. A resident reported that an unknown individual attempted to force open the front door between 10:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. No items were reported missing from the residence.

• On Jan. 3 at 5:38 p.m., Patrolman Douglas Zike responded to Net Cost supermarket, Tennent Road, where a resident of New Brunswick reported that a man removed a woman’s wallet from her purse which had been left in a shopping cart. The wallet and its contents were valued at $440.

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