A recent car theft and jewelry store robbery sparked discussion at the Board of Commissioners work session meeting on Monday, June 12.
The car theft took place on Thursday, June 1, and though the car was recovered in Newark the following day, the theft left neighbors concerned with their safety and the lack of police patrol cars in their area.
“It’s been weeks since I’ve seen a Haddonfield patrol car go down Ardmore Avenue,” said Haddonfield resident Theresa Petrelius.
However, just because residents may not see police cars, it doesn’t mean they aren’t out there, Police Chief Jason Cutler explained, noting not all police cars are marked police cars.
Mayor Colleen Bianco Bezich said oftentimes when there is a theft or stolen property, police will go on the investigative route.
“(That) might take them beyond your street or your neighborhood if they’re looking for the vehicle or perpetrator,” she said. “ … Typically if there’s a crime no longer occurring, there’s no longer an active victim situation, the police are doing what they would tactically be expected to do, which is to investigate the crime.”
The mayor noted that while response time is typically under three minutes upon receiving a call, if residents wait to call, they can delay the response time.
The police chief also responded to questions regarding a jewelry store robbery that took place June 9 where a police officer saw a group of four people robbing Haddonfield Fine Jewelers.
“The officer at the jewelry store saw the crime occurring even before we got dispatched by the alarm,” Cutler confirmed. “He did try to pursue but during the pursuit, there are certain guidelines that we have to follow that are set down by the Attorney General. … Unfortunately, the criteria didn’t meet the guidelines so we had to terminate the pursuit.
“That’s not our officer’s fault, he was just following the guidelines that he had to follow to prevent innocent civilians getting hurt during the police chase, which is preferable.”
Residents are encouraged to call the police or the Borough for information rather than posting on social media to report suspicious activity or to inquire about situations.
In other news:
- Three Haddonfield residents requested permission to raise $1.5 million to replace Centennial Field with a turf field. The commissioners did not take action or come to a decision at the meeting.
- Commissioners discussed potential amendments to an ordinance that would allow residents without driveways to have one car per household permitted on the street rather than having to get a permit. Further discussion is expected to continue at the next commissioners meeting.
The next commissioners meeting will be on Monday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. following the quarterly board of health meeting at 7 p.m. at Borough Hall.