Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 34
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

Suspect in Recent Burglaries Arrested

Dilshanie Perera

A suspect in the recent string of burglaries in the Borough and Township has been identified and arrested, according to Borough Police Lieutenant Nick Sutter, who told Borough Council last Tuesday that the police department is gathering evidence to charge the suspect.

Lt. Sutter elaborated on the case in a telephone interview, noting that Walter Hastings of New Brunswick was arrested by New Brunswick police after they identified the vehicle he was driving as a stolen car connected to one of the Princeton burglaries. Regarding the next steps, Lt. Sutter said “We’re currently working on the different evidence we gathered; we’re processing that evidence, and are waiting for the results.”

In other business, when asked by Council member Roger Martindell about the progress of the case of the suspended Borough police officers, Lt. Sutter said that the department has been in contact with the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office, and that the case “is active and is a priority.”

“It is six months, going on seven, and we’re still paying officers who are suspended,” Mr. Martindell lamented, adding that “we haven’t done the inquiry in any rigorous way.”

“There’s really not a whole lot we can do,” said Council member David Goldfarb, who recapped the case saying that when “members of our department became aware of potentially serious violations by officers in the department, the Mercer County Prosecutor ruled that the officers be suspended with pay.” He added that “in order to protect the ability of the prosecutor, the officers must be paid. It’s a very unfortunate situation.”

Regarding the case, Mayor Mildred Trotman said that “to a degree our hands our tied since we may end up being the jury to this case.”

Currently the Borough Police Department cannot disclose additional information.

Finally, Polly Burlingham, the Chair of the Borough’s Shade Tree Commission, reported to Council that the commission met the 2007 goals of the Borough’s Statement of Plan Implementation in the Community Forestry Management Plan, which is a five-year plan that began in 2003.

The goals included completing a survey of neighborhoods in the spring and fall to prepare a recommended site list for planting new trees, and monitoring Borough trees for disease or hazard. There are over 3,600 trees in the Borough that are in the public right of way, not including those in the parks, noted Ms. Burlingham.

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