Police have connected one man to more than 60 car burglaries in the central New Jersey area over the past month.
“It was the teamwork from several police departments that captured this suspect. The suspect may have believed that by going over different township lines he would be able to get away with his crimes, but he was wrong,” South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a prepared statement on Aug. 15.
Police were able to track down the suspect using a video recovered by South Brunswick detectives, a tip developed by East Brunswick detectives, an alert Jamesburg patrolman, and a fast response by Monroe police officers, according to the statement.
Police around the area had reported a spike in burglaries to motor vehicles over the past month. In South Brunswick, there were 15 reported car burglaries Aug. 10-12. Detectives shared intelligence and increased directed patrols, according to the statement.
Around 2 a.m. on Aug. 14, Jamesburg police officer Joseph Quinn was on patrol, driving in Beaver Brook complex, when he reportedly observed an individual attempting to break into a car in a neighboring development on Dorene Court in Monroe. The suspect allegedly fled from Quinn into the nearby woods. Quinn notified Monroe police who surrounded the area.
Several minutes later, a 26-year-old resident of Helmetta was located, allegedly hiding in a vehicle in a nearby parking lot, according to reports.
Monroe, Jamesburg and South Brunswick detectives then conducted a search of a Route 130 motel in South Brunswick and reportedly recovered numerous stolen items, according to the statement. The items had allegedly been stolen from unlocked motor vehicles, according to the report.
The recovered stolen items have been already linked to crimes in several towns including Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Jamesburg, Monroe and South Brunswick, police said. Detectives are working with other police departments to see if additional recovered items can be linked to any open cases, according to the statement.
Police believe the suspect would drive to different neighborhoods and check for unlocked doors, according to the statement. He would allegedly rummage through the unlocked vehicles, stealing anything of value. The investigation found that many of the stolen items were then sold so the man could buy heroin, police alleged.
The suspect has been charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property. He was lodged in the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center pending his first court appearance, as of press time.
Detectives are looking for additional suspects. Anyone with information should contact South Brunswick Detective Dennis Yuhasz or Detective Brady Shelcusky at 732-329-4000, ext. 7496; Monroe Detective Ray Gifford at 732-521-0222, ext. 121; or Jamesburg Detective Jason Muller at 732-521-0011.