A suspect charged with committing two Hopewell burglaries, as well as many more in neighboring towns, has been indicted by a grand jury for a second time, Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri announced today.
The charges in a nine-count indictment filed last week include three counts of burglary in West Windsor Township and two counts of burglary in Plainsboro Township.
In September, a Mercer County grand jury returned a 55-count indictment charging the same suspect with 19 burglaries in West Windsor, four in Robbinsville, six in Princeton, four in Lawrence and two in Hopewell. He also was indicted on many third- and fourth-degree theft charges related to the burglaries. Assistant Prosecutor Kathleen M. Petrucci presented both cases to the grand jury.
Onofri stated that, between June 2018 and May 2019, West Windsor Township and surrounding jurisdictions were inundated with a rash of residential burglaries. The prosecutor’s office indicated that a comprehensive and massive investigation was conducted by the West Windsor Police Department’s Detective Bureau, under the leadership of Chief Robert Garofalo, to determine if they were the acts of the same person or persons, and to identify those responsible and apprehend the culprits.
According to the prosecutor’s office, these exhaustive efforts led to identifying the suspect as the lone actor in more than 20 residential burglaries during that time frame. In almost every case, the burglaries took place while the residents were at home and asleep. During the extensive investigation, lead West Windsor Detectives Eric Woodrow and Jason Jones sought assistance from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Ultimately, the suspect was apprehended during the commission of a residential burglary in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, on May 30, 2019. He remains in custody in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and is charged with numerous burglaries in that jurisdiction as well.
“Although [the suspect] has been linked to 22 residential burglaries in West Windsor Township, the investigation is ongoing,” Chief Garofalo said. “The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the WWPD ask residents to continue your vigilance and be observant and considerate to your neighbors. If you feel something is abnormal in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact your local police department immediately.”
Onofri and Garofalo thanked the following agencies for the support and resources provided during the investigation:
- West Windsor Police Department
- Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office
- Hopewell Township Police Department
- Lawrence Township Police Department
- Princeton Police Department
- Robbinsville Township Police Department
- Plainsboro Township Police Department
- Lower Makefield Township (PA) Police Department
The prosecutor’s office notes that “Despite having been indicted, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”