Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Longtime PT reader helps bust alleged burglar

Thornton Avenue is a quiet residential area near Muhlenberg.
Turns out a longtime Plainfield Today reader helped bust the suspected burglar featured in Mark Spivey's front page story in today's Courier (see here). The story should be of interest as I have gotten other reports recently of similar-sounding incidents in other neighborhoods.

The reader and her husband had just gotten back from vacation in South Carolina last Saturday evening to find five police cars at their next door neighbor's house on Thornton Avenue.  

A burglar had opened a ground floor window, stolen a TV, and let himself out through the garage. The neighbor has a silent alarm and the company called the police. The good news, the reader says, is that the stolen TV was found under the reader's bay window.

As the reader and her husband pulled up, she says, the suspect was in their driveway. When she approached him he said, "I'm looking for my friend I thought he lived here."
Immediately, she says, she suspected he was the perp.

As she engaged him in conversation, she said  "I know everyone in the neighborhood baby, who are you looking for?" He said "John," and she said, "Give me a last name." He said "Thomas." In the meantime, the reader's son told the police someone was in his parents' driveway.

The police came through the back yard and apprehended the suspect as she was talking to him, the reader says. He threw a blue bag in the bushes and when the police recovered it, he was defensive in saying "that's my paraphernalia", seems it was his DRUG paraphernalia, along with the remote to the neighbor's TV.

The reader went to Police Headquarters with a detective to give a statement. She reports that several neighbors have now said they saw the suspect walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors for a few hours.

The reader also says her alarm went off the day before and the police came and checked out the house and said there was nothing disturbed.  The reader told the neighbor to shut the alarm off thinking it was a malfunction and that she would be back in Plainfield the next day. 

Lo and behold, says the reader, the police said one modus operandi is to set an alarm off, watch the police come and either the alarm doesn't engage again or the people shut it off thinking it's a malfunction. And then the burglar comes back and robs you.

The reader advised members of the Hillside Area Neighborhood Watch to be diligent. Though this is one suspect off the streets, there are others. She advised neighbors that if they see something that doesn't seem right call the police, they will be more than happy to follow through.

The detective told the reader it appears that this incident follows a pattern of other robberies in the area, and, the reader notes he is NOT from Plainfield!

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Rob said...

here's to people caring about their neighborhood !

Anonymous said...

Here's to why Plainfield is great!

Anonymous said...

Our neighborhood watch groups are getting stronger by the day. More and more neighbors are joining together. If you are a resident who is not part of a neighborhood watch group, please ask a neighbor and find out who in your area is a main contact.

Wil Gipp
Chetwynd Avenue Neighborhood Group.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

My sentiments exactly.. the police can not be everywhere, we are the eyes and ears of our neighborhoods...

Anonymous said...

Dan -

you forgot to mention that this drug addicted thief was a white young male -if I am correct. I bet anyone who read this would immediately believe/assume it was a black person . . . right?!

I mention this because I believe it is important.