Posts Tagged ‘crime in Ocean Grove’

Thefts of lawn decorations continued in Ocean Grove this past week, Neighborhood Watch reported on Friday.

In his weekly report, our NW police liaison, Officer Michael Adam, said two such thefts were reported in the area of the 80 block of Broadway.

In addition, copper leaders were reported to have been stolen from a residence in the area of Ocean Pathway.

And finally, police had a report of criminal mischief to a vehicle parked in the area of Central Avenue.

Officer Adam ended his report with this advice to residents:

“Continue to be aware of suspicious behavior in your neighborhood and report all such behavior to the police immediately. Keep your personal belongings secure and keep your exterior lights on overnight.”

— Charles Layton

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This week’s Neighborhood Watch report consists of three incidents, all involving thieves.

(1) Someone stole some personal items from the interior of an unlocked vehicle near 110 Pilgrim Pathway.

(2) An unattended stereo was removed from the lobby of a hotel on Ocean Pathway.

(3) Someone tried to steal a flag from a home at the western end of Mt. Hermon Way, but the attempt was unsuccessful. Police gave no further details.

— Charles Layton

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Here is this week’s crime roundup from Neighborhood Watch:

  • Someone stole a bicycle from the area of 8o Mt. Zion Way. The bike was later recovered and returned to the owner.
  • Someone broke a window on a vehicle parked near 20 Main Avenue.
  • A package was delivered by UPS and left on a resident’s porch overnight. When the resident came out of the house the next morning, the package was gone.

— Charles Layton

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By Charles Layton

Here is this week’s report from Ocean Grove Neighborhood Watch on the latest police activity.

Someone broke into a business in the area of Olin Street overnight and then left. Police were notified, responded and arrested a suspect.

A Christmas decoration was stolen from the yard of a residence in the area of 90 Franklin Avenue.

Police received a report of a check scam. According to police, a resident responded to a help-wanted ad placed by someone needing a car service. The person, who was from out of the country, issued a check to the resident by mail. After cashing the check, the resident was instructed to return a portion of the money he had received to a predetermined address. Finding this suspicious, the resident contacted his bank and was told that the check was fraudulent.

The Neptune PD advises everyone to beware of similar check scams. If someone asks you to cash a check and return a portion of the money t them, this is a warning that the check is not legitimate.

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By Charles Layton

We report occasionally on the status of local people who’ve been arrested for local crimes. Here are three recent updates:

  • Ferriera in a photo from his Facebook page

    Ferriera in a photo from his Facebook page

    The State of New Jersey reports that Kharaan Ferreira, imprisoned on multiple burglary charges, is now eligible to be considered for parole. Ferriera, 33, formerly of Ocean Grove, was charged last January with the burglaries of two adjacent summer homes in the 100 block of Pilgrim Pathway. He was also indicted last May as part of a burglary ring said to have operated in Wall, Neptune and Bradley Beach.

  • Robert Peterson, charged in July with the burglary of two Ocean Grove residences, was released from Monmouth County Jail on Friday by court order. Peterson, 56, is said to have resided on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove. At the time of his arrest the Neptune Police reported that he had entered the two houses — in the 50 block of Heck Avenue — which were unoccupied at the time, and removed alcohol and food. News of his release from Monmouth County Jail came to us via the National Victim Notification Network. That source gave no further details as to the reason for the release.
  • Accused burglar Mark Alan Nicastro, age 51, was transferred last week from Monmouth County Jail to the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Nicastro was arrested in January and accused of four Ocean Grove burglaries. The burglaries were of two residences on Embury Avenue and two residences on Mt. Hermon Way.

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Rock throwers (l to r) James Turetzkin, Philip Williams and Lauren Magaw in the jury box, waiting for their hearing to begin. Photos by Mary Walton

Rock throwers (l to r) James Turetzkin, Philip Williams and Lauren Magaw in the jury box, waiting for their hearing to begin. Photos by Mary Walton

By Charles Layton

All four adult defendants in the rock-throwing vandalism case agreed on Friday to a three-year schedule of payments to 180 victims throughout Monmouth County, including many in Ocean Grove.

Superior Court Judge Thomas Scully told each of the four that if they make good on their payment obligations, perform 75 hours of supervised community service and fulfill some other conditions imposed by the court, they can avoid the normal fines and prison terms prescribed for third-degree criminal mischief. All four had pleaded guilty to that offense on August 23 as part of a negotiated plea bargain.

If any defendant fails to meet the conditions set forth by the Prosecutor’s Office and Judge Scully, all deals would be off and that defendant would then be subject to a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

As outlined in court on Friday by Scully and Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen Bycsek, the defendants agreed to pay a total of $117,895.34 in restitution — to victims and to their insurance companies –according to the following schedule:

— $5,000 to be paid immediately by each defendant.

— $679.83 per month to be paid by each defendant for a period of 36 months.

The defendants — Philip Williams, 25; Lauren Magaw, 21; James Turetzkin, 20, and Tyler Emmons, 18 — have all admitted participating in a months-long rampage of rock-throwing vandalism spread over 17 different Monmouth County towns, including Neptune Township. Police have said that 33 of those acts occurred in Ocean Grove from January through March of this year. The defendants would ride around in an SUV late at night tossing large stones through the windows of houses and parked cars. Police in Spring Lake arrested the group shortly after midnight on April 13 after receiving reports that windows were being broken. The defendants confessed to the entire vandalism spree at the police station that night.

Defendant Emmons stands in the jury box. Prosecutor Bycsek is in foreground

Defendant Emmons stands in the jury box. Prosecutor Bycsek is in the foreground

Three of the defendants live in Neptune Township; Turetzkin lives in Neptune City. The name of a fifth defendant has not been released because he was 17 at the time of the arrests; he is being treated as a juvenile.

During Friday’s hearing, Cliff and Barbara Bandstra of Wall Township sat in the courtroom observing the proceedings. The couple told Blogfinger that they were on the list to receive restitution. They said they arrived home one Friday evening to find that the large paladium window in their entry foyer had been smashed. Replacing it cost more than $4,000, they said. The vandals had also hurled large stones against the stucco of the house and done other damage.

Asked why they were attending the hearing, Cliff Bandstra said, “I was just curious to see what they looked like.”

“And what kind of people would do this,” his wife said.

They said they also have a home in Ocean Grove, but were surprised when told that many Ocean Grovers had also been victims of the rock throwing.

The defendants said little — beyond “yes, your honor” — as Judge Scully outlined the conditions of their probation. They were called to stand before the judge one at a time and verify that they understood the nature of the deal they were entering into. During the next three years, the judge explained, they will be supervised under Monmouth County’s Pretrial Intervention program, which is designed for first-time offenders. They must abide by the normal terms of criminal probation, including mandatory drug monitoring as determined by the probation officer.

Scully explained that the amount of the restitution is owed by the four defendants “equally and severally,” meaning that if one defendant fails to pay his share the others must assume that liability.

Lawyers for the defendants noted that the case of the fifth defendant, in juvenile court, is not yet resolved. They asked Scully whether, if that juvenile defendant is ordered to pay restitution as well, that might reduce the amounts owed by the four adult defendants. Scully said he had no influence over the juvenile proceeding, but that such an outcome might be possible.

After the hearing, Cliff and Barbara Bandstra said they were not sure the restitution money they’ll receive will cover all of their losses, but they thought it would come close. Both also said they thought the punishments the defendants received seemed “pretty fair.”

“If they actually come through with it, and live up to it” Barbara Bandstra said of the defendants, “maybe they’ll learn something.”

Cliff and Barbara Bandstra chat with Kathleen Bycsek before the hearing. The Bandstras had a $4,000 window smashed by the defendants

Cliff and Barbara Bandstra chat with prosecutor Kathleen Bycsek before the hearing. The Bandstras had a $4,000 window smashed by the vandals

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By Charles Layton

Here are the latest crimes in Ocean Grove, as reported on Wednesday by Neptune Township police:

  • Someone forced entry into a store on Pilgrim Pathway overnight and stole money and merchandise.
  • There were two more reported thefts of house decorations on Clark Avenue. (House and lawn decorations have been disappearing from Ocean Grove homes on a regular basis for many weeks.)
  • In the area of Franklin Avenue and Cookman Avenue someone shattered door windows on two vehicles. From one of the vehicles the thief removed I-Pods that were left in plain sight in the center console.
  • A resident reported that their front license plate was either lost or stolen. The license plate had the victim’s EZ-Pass attached to it.

Our police liaison, Officer Michael Adam, reminds residents to secure their personal items. Do not leave valuables in plain sight in your car. Report all suspicious behavior to the police immediately via 9-1-1.

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By Charles Layton

Lawn ornament theft seems to have taken the place of bicycle theft as the crime of preference in Ocean Grove.

Neptune Police report three more such thefts in recent days — two in the area of 110 Franklin Avenue and one in the area of 90 Abbott Avenue.
There was also a burglary to a vehicle in the area of 140 Main Avenue.

And finally, police say someone opened an unlocked window to a residence in the area of 80 Asbury Avenue. The intruder reached inside the residence and removed a television that was near the window.

Our neighborhood watch liaison officer, Michael Adam, made this comment: “As always, be aware of your surroundings and report all suspicious activity to the police immediately. Keep in mind that the holiday season is upon us. Make sure you secure your valuable and do not leave them in plain sight inside your vehicle unattended overnight.”

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By Charles Layton

Here is the first report by Neighborhood Watch since the hurricane. Our police liaison officer, Michael Adam, passes along the following:

  • There have been several more reports of lawn ornaments being removed from people’s property.
  • A business on Main Avenue was left unlocked, and someone entered and took some items.
  • A resident reported a suspicious person in the area of Clark Avenue during the mid-day hours. Officers responded and located the subject, who, upon investigation, was found to be in possession of stolen items from an Ocean Grove home. He was arrested.

Officer Adam’s comment: “This is a great example of a resident reporting a suspicious subject.” He continues to urge that residents be diligent in reporting suspicious behavior.

Adam also said he hopes “all of the residents are doing well after the storm. If anyone has any questions or is in need of assistance, please contact the Neptune Township Police Department at 732-988-8000.”

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Chief Robert Adams, NTPD speaks to the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association. Paul Goldfinger photograph.

By Charles Layton

Neptune Police Chief Robert Adams likes to tell this story about a woman who let her guard down in the fight against crime.

She parked her SUV at an athletic event in Colts Neck. She locked her car doors, which was good. But she left her purse inside the car in plain view – a mistake. When she returned, she found the car window broken and her purse stolen.

And here is the punch line: The woman was Adams’ wife.

Adams told this story on Saturday at the Ocean Grove Home Owners Association meeting. “We all are complacent,” he said, pointing up the moral.

The Home Owners had invited Adams to talk about the recent increase in property theft in Ocean Grove.

He said The Grove is at a particular disadvantage due to the amount of transient bicycle and foot traffic that comes and goes at all hours between Asbury Park and Bradley Beach. This creates a vulnerability that your average suburban community doesn’t have.

Adams tried to reassure the large crowd of listeners that his police officers “always have a significant presence in Ocean Grove” – a larger presence that is apparent, because some of these officers are on foot, on bicycles or in unmarked cars. He also cited statistics showing that the average response time to a call is about three minutes.

He emphasized two points over and over. One was that people need to pick up the phone whenever they see anything suspicious. A citizen shouldn’t worry about inconveniencing the Police Department with a call that doesn’t pan out. “We would rather have a thousand false alarms than miss one real one,” he said. Also, although the 9-1-1 operators typically ask a caller’s name and address, the caller can refuse to give that information, so nobody should feel uncomfortable about calling.

Just as important as calling is to call quickly — immediately. He gave a recent example of an incident of vandalism in Shark River Hills. Witnesses called quickly, police responded, locked down the area and within an hour had caught the criminals. “We’re not super-duper,” he said. “We need a lot of breaks… That’s why calling is critical.”

Adams’ other principle point was that people can eliminate opportunities for crimes. Many tend to forget to secure their possessions. Many of the bicycles stolen in Ocean Grove were left unlocked by their owners. Many of the car break-ins occur because someone left something valuable in plain view.

There were two recent car thefts in Ocean Grove, he said. Both cars were recovered. In one of those cases, the owner had left the keys in the car.

Regarding the recent rash of lawn and porch ornaments stolen in Ocean Grove, Adams said, “We have some active leads we’re working.” Asked about the possible disposal of such stolen goods through flea markets, auctions, Craig’s list and other outlets, he said, “We’re actively pursuing that.”

Asked why the Neptune Police don’t provide more information to the public, as some other towns do, Adams said his department is reevaluating how much information to release. He said he is trying to balance the public’s right to information against the police’s need not to jeopardize investigations.

Here are some statistics provided by Adams, based on records from January 1 to October 22 of this year:

  •    Neptune received 3,689 calls for service from Ocean Grove, including fire and OEM calls in addition to crime calls.
  •     Police made 226 arrests in Ocean Grove.
  •     Police made 502 motor vehicle stops.

SOUNDTRACK:  “I Love a Cop.”    Dora’s “gone berserk,” and here she is singing about it.  This is from the original Broadway cast album of the musical Fiorello:

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