Archive for the ‘Ocean Grove crime’ Category


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Local color in the mountains of Ocean Grove—Mount Zion Way.   It is a charming neighborhood.  The sort of place where everyone usually  knows your name. Paul Goldfinger photograph. ©


By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger.net

It was a night-time robber who entered an unlocked car on Mt. Carmel Way,  July 26,  to steal about $500.00 worth of expensive gardening equipment. The owner of the vehicle has lived in OG  “for 13 years without incident, so I was lulled into a casual attitude about locking up.”  This was especially painful for her because she had just replaced the tools lost in a fire at her other home.

The owner, let’s call her Pegi, said, in a fantasy, addressing the thief, “I can’t imagine you would use these tools. I assume you will sell them. For what, $20.00?   For drugs? Alcohol? The police have been notified. The chances of catching you are slim.”

“A friend of mine was quite clear that he believes in Karma. I will count my blessings that no one got hurt; that everything you took is replaceable.”

“I will be sure to lock my car every time now.  And I will hope that Karma gets you.”


Editor’s Note:  Ocean Grove thieves are traditionally the types that are looking for something to sell in order to get drugs.  They do walk around town looking into car windows to find targets.  Or they typically break into homes at ground-floor level.

They are not likely to be the types who need cash to see a foreign film at the Showroom Cinema or to order an espresso with a cranberry scone at Café Volan on Mattison.

An interesting postscript to this crime report is that Pegi was walking to downtown Asbury Park and she noticed one of her gardening gloves on the ground.  She said, “The glove had been in my car. The miscreant probably dropped it while making his escape.”  She also noted that “living on the main thoroughfare to A. Park has a lot of people walking by.”

The irony is that, if life imitates art, Pegi’s glove would yield DNA and the perp would be arrested hours later while tending his glorious garden in A. Park.

It reminds me of when two teenage girls from A. Park were peddling their bikes down Delaware, near the bridge.   They stopped at my neighbor’s house  (not noticing me on my porch.)  They saw something on his porch, so one of them walked up the stairs and picked up a hand pruner that was lying there. As she walked with it back to her bike, I said, “Hey. What are you doing?”

She said, “I need this for my bike.”

I said, “Put it back,” and she did.  Then they peddled away, unembarrassed or apologetic.

I still can’t envision that kid tending a garden.  Maybe she did think it would be good for her bike.  But she had to be stopped.  In the end, calling her to task was a good thing, and it also reminds me that Neptune Township all too often fails to enforce small-time  crimes in the Grove, and that’s not a good thing.




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The NTPD traffic patrol vehicle paused by this car, checked out the parking, and drove off without issuing a ticket. Blogfinger photo. 9/25/17. ©

We have complained before  about inconsistent law enforcement in the Grove, for example regarding parking, posting notices, and checking for yard sale licenses.  The broken windows theory of law enforcement emphasizes the need to enforce small infractions in order to prevent larger ones.  But  inconsistent enforcement breeds uncertainty, indifference, and resentment among the populace  (who have torches and pitchforks.)

For example, people have to wonder if they should take the time and money to go to town hall for their yard sale permit. Or whether to worry if they park, as in this example, with their car butt overhanging the yellow line—definitely a violation.   Such inconsistency results in cynicism about law enforcement.

These examples may seem relatively unimportant, and they are, and  if someone posts a flier  on a telephone poll , I don’t care.  In fact I liked that old fashioned way of communicating here in town.   But if the ordinance is ignored for some, but not others  (as with the tacky pinkification of our telephone polls for an entire month,) then the system of equal justice under the law has broken down.   And, by the way, the phrase “equal justice under the law” is etched into the stone above the front doors of the Supreme Court.

If we can’t have equal justice in enforcing small ordinances, then those laws should be removed.

Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger

ELVIS COSTELLO     “Let’s Misbehave”

“We’re all alone, no chaperone
Can get our number
The world’s in slumber–let’s misbehave!”


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Talk about posting something on the church door.....The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. Click to read all about it.

Talk about posting something on the church door…..The Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove. Blogfinger photo. Click to enlarge and read all about it.  After all, isn’t Bach better than rock?

ALTENBURY BOYS CHOIR.    “Ave Verum  K 618″  From the movie ‘Lorenzo’s Oil.”

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By Paul Goldfinger, Editor @Blogfinger    (Written but not posted in 2011)

America has been conflicted about race ever since Thomas Jefferson declared that “all men are created equal,” while he was the second largest slave owner in Virginia. Today, nearly fifty years after the Civil Rights movement won major victories in the sixties, the volume has once again been turned way up on racial issues—currently with the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

This case brings to the forefront the subject of racial profiling as a tool in law enforcement. The controversial event began when a white Neighborhood Watch volunteer followed Mr. Martin, a black teenager, who was walking through a predominantly white gated community. It’s not yet clear that this qualifies as racial profiling, but the subject has been raised.

We have had a Neighborhood Watch program in Ocean Grove, but it is barely functioning.  There has been no formal patrolling function for the NW in the Grove, so there is no danger of a Trayvon situation occurring here, at least not by our Neighborhood Watch. In addition the police do not meet with the Neighborhood Watchers to give them some kind of training. The OG Citizens Patrols drive around and call the police if they see something worrisome, but they don’t get out of their cars to follow people.

The police ask us to call if we see something suspicious: “If you see something, say something.”

If a black teenager walks into the Grove alone or with friends, with or without hoodies, people notice. Some might be tempted to watch them or even call the police on the basis that blacks are relatively unusual here, but so are Orientals, Hassids, and frat boys. Calling just because of someone’s color or clothing is profiling. The only time the police should be called is if someone, regardless of color, is acting suspicious.

But there is a flip side to this. I know some Grovers who would have to be pushed pretty hard into calling about any black person in the Grove out of fear that they might be accused of profiling. But not calling when you should is at least as bad as calling when there is no concern.

Update:   Currently  (2015) the Neighborhood Watch is defunct, and the NTPD has made no effort to resurrect it. It might be a good idea as an adjunct program to keep our town safe, especially with nice weather (hopefully) coming in.   We have lots of kids running around town in the summer along with vulnerable tourists and seniors.

In February 2014 (see link below) we had a fascinating debate about profiling and security in Ocean Grove.  The comments had 36 responses.

a racial discussion in OG 2014

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