The Princeton Police Department has arrested a Trenton woman for several thefts that occurred in the Princeton homes where she was employed as a cleaner.
The accused, Irma Natareno, 57, lives in Trenton and was employed to clean the homes of two separate Princeton families living on the Great Road and on the Princeton Kingston Road.
The thefts are believed to have occurred between June 2011 and April 2014.
Subsequent to an investigation by Princeton’s Detective Bureau, Ms. Natereno was arrested on July 3. She has been charged with the theft of jewelry, coins, cameras, and other items totaling $90,490.
The arrest highlights the degree to which the police department relies on the public to come forward with information that helps solve crimes. “In this case, the perpetrator was identified as a possible culprit by the victims,” said Police Chief Nick Sutter.
“We have experienced a rash of burglaries in recent months,” said Mr. Sutter. “We rely a great deal on information from the public and our detectives collaborate regularly with other area departments experiencing crimes that may be committed by the same culprits,” said Mr. Sutter. It is usual for the police in West Windsor, South Brunswick, Lawrence, Montgomery and Hopewell to pool their resources.
Mr. Sutter commended Detective Annette Henderson, who worked on the case leading to the arrest of Ms. Natereno, for doing a “very good job.”
“Princeton detectives are now finding links between incidents, and this is one example of good detective work that has cleared up multiple thefts,” Mr. Sutter added.
In April, Town Topics reported that the Princeton Police Department was working with other area police departments with respect to a “rash” of daytime residential burglaries that had occurred in Princeton homes unoccupied at the time of the break-ins. After the arrest of two Ewing men by West Windsor Police on March 25, Princeton Police looked for a connection to burglaries in Princeton but found none. A suspect arrested in South Brunswick was also found to be unrelated to incidents in Princeton.
But in May, Princeton Police arrested a 19-year-old suspect after a call from a neighbor. The suspect was attempting to break in to a residence on Randall Road. “This arrest was made because a resident called us,” said Detective Sergeant Christopher Quaste at the time. “Residents are our eyes and ears and we are always grateful when we get a call like this, which resulted in an arrest.”
Princeton residents are reminded to call the police department at (609) 921-2100 immediately to report any suspicious vehicle(s) and/or person(s) in their neighborhood. If it is possible to do so, they should get a description of any suspicious person or vehicle (including a license plate) and the direction of travel. For an incident in progress, they should call 9-1-1.
The police should also be notified immediately of any unknown person knocking on front doors. Potential burglars may knock on a front door to determine whether or not a house is occupied. They might say that they are looking for someone or for a particular street, even for a lost pet. They might pretend to be a door-to-door salesman. If there is no answer, they may walk to the back of the property and use unlocked doors/windows to gain entry. If none are found, windows and doors have been forced open. Jewelry and silver are generally targeted.
The Princeton Police Department also suggests that residents have digital photographs of their valuables as a way of helping the police in their attempts to recover stolen property. Practices that often prevent homes being targeted at least during daytime are always turning on any alarm systems, and presenting signs of occupation such as a car parked in the driveway, or a radio or TV left on inside the home.
The Princeton Police Department is requesting anyone with additional information to contact Det. Annette Henderson at (609) 921-2100 ext. 1818 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.