Home » HT Police Blotter: Check theft spree targets three area mailboxes, road rage escalates on Pennington Circle

HT Police Blotter: Check theft spree targets three area mailboxes, road rage escalates on Pennington Circle

by Mary Galioto

The following information is derived from the data provided by the Hopewell Township Police Department for the period spanning August 8 to August 22, 2023:

Fraud victim loses $3,289.25 from unauthorized American Airlines account scam
A fraud victim met with Officer Robert Voorhees in the Hopewell Township Police Department (HTPD) lobby on August 8. The victim reported that while traveling, they attempted to log into their American Airlines account and had difficulty doing so. After speaking with customer service, the victim was advised that their miles were used for multiple flights that they did not purchase. The unauthorized flights and purchases were forwarded to Officer Voorhees for follow-up investigation. The total loss in this case is listed as $3,289.25.The investigation is ongoing. 

Shoplifting suspect with outstanding warrants apprehended after pursuit
On August 9, Officer Landon Zagacki responded to the ShopRite of Pennington for a reported shoplifting. The suspect fled the scene in a red Jeep, and the license plate was also identified and reported. While en route, Officer Zagacki observed the vehicle on Pennington Road. He then activated his overhead emergency lights and conducted a motor vehicle stop on the vehicle in question. The driver was identified and was found to have stolen items from ShopRite in their possession and was also found to have multiple arrest warrants out of other jurisdictions. The individual was placed under arrest on scene and transported to HTPD for processing. The individual was later transported and lodged at Mercer County Correctional Center. The matter will be heard in Superior Court. 

Victim reports suspicious transactions
On August 11, Officer Michael Crincoli responded to a Cedar Brook Terrace address for a reported fraud. The victim reported that she was alerted of two fraudulent transactions on her bank account on two separate dates. Information regarding the transactions were provided to Officer Crincoli. The victim suffered no financial loss to date, however the investigation is ongoing.

Motor vehicle stop leads active warrant arrest
On August 14, at approximately 3:34pm, Officer Blake Demeter observed a white box truck traveling on Route 579 in the area of Church Road in violation of the 4-ton limit. Officer Demeter conducted a motor vehicle stop on the box truck in the area of Church Road. The driver was found to have an active warrant out of Wall Township, and was arrested on scene and transported to HTPD for processing. They were later turned over to the Wall Township Police Department. The matter will be heard in Superior Court.

Mailbox theft on New Road: Stolen checks forged and deposited
On August 12, Officer Arthur Juba responded to a New Road address for a reported theft of checks. Officer Juba met with the victim who reported that two checks were stolen from their mailbox. The checks were forged and deposited. One check was able to be identified by the bank prior to deposit, however the second check was not stopped prior to deposit. The victim suffered a loss of $7,700.00. Officer Juba was provided information on the transactions and the investigation is ongoing. 

Fox Run mailbox checks stolen and fraudulently deposited
On August 14, Officer Maria Gavdanovich responded to a Fox Run address for a reported theft and fraud of the victim’s check. The victim advised that they wrote and mailed a check for $71.72 and another for $113.72. The checks were mailed from their mailbox at their residence. The victim found later that the mailbox was open and the checks inside were missing. The victim was alerted to a $7,100 transaction on their account with the same check number as was originally on the $71.72 check that was missing. The victim is in the process of getting refunded by the bank, and the second check is still missing however has not been cashed or deposited at this time. The investigation is ongoing. 

Poor Farm Road mailbox check stolen, forged and cashed
On August 21, Officer Ludwig responded to a Poor Farm Road address for a reported theft of a check from a mailbox. The check was reportedly taken from inside the victim’s mailbox and later forged and cashed for $737.35. The victim’s bank was notified of the fraudulent transaction. The investigation is ongoing. 

Pennington Circle road rage escalates, driver smashes windshield 
On August 18, Officer Paul Pauciullo responded to the area of the Pennington Circle for a road rage incident. The victim reported that they were driving behind a vehicle when the vehicle abruptly stopped and the driver exited his vehicle. The driver then approached the victim’s vehicle and punched the hood of their car and the windshield which caused it to shatter. The individual then went back to their vehicle and drove off. The vehicle plate and description of the driver was provided to Officer Pauciullo, who later charged the actor with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. They were processed at HTPD and released with a court date. The matter will be heard in Municipal Court. 

Over $5.6K stolen from Gulf Station safe
On August 21, Officer Ludwig responded to the Gulf Gas station on North Route 31 for a reported theft. The owner reported that $5,668.64 was stolen from their safe between August 20 and August 21. Further information was provided to detectives for follow-up. The investigation is active and ongoing.  

Shoplifters steal nearly $1K of groceries from Stop and Shop
On August 21, Officer Ludwig responded to the Stop and Shop located on Denow Road for a reported shoplifting that occurred the previous day on August 20. Store security reported that two individuals were seen on surveillance taking approximately $945.83 worth of good from the store. Information regarding the suspects and merchandise was forwarded to Officer Ludwig for further investigation. The investigation is ongoing.  

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