Princeton resident and Princeton University Professor John Mulvey, 67, was arrested last week at Princeton Police Department headquarters after an investigation by Detective Sergeant Christopher Quaste and Detective Adam Basatemur into the theft of business signs belonging to Princeton Computer Tutor and Repairs.
Mr. Mulvey has hired a lawyer to fight the charges in New Jersey Superior Court. So far, no court date for the case has been set.
The thefts had occurred at various times since June of last year in the area of Rosedale Road near Elm Road.
Mr. Mulvey was arrested after business owner, Ted Horodynsky, had put up a camera in an attempt to discover the culprit upon noticing that his 2-by-2-foot signs, worth more than $20 each, had been disappearing from private property locations. After filing several police reports, Mr. Horodynsky shared his surveillance video with the Princeton Police Department.
According to Mr. Horodynsky, the video shows the business signs being removed on five separate occasions with Mr. Mulvey allegedly stealing them and taking them away in his vehicle, whose license plate was recorded on camera.
According to police, 21 signs were found to be in Mr. Mulvey’s possession. Detectives recovered the signs (undamaged) in Mr. Mulvey’s garage and returned them to Mr. Horodynsky.
Mr. Mulvey was processed at police headquarters and released with a summons charging him with the theft of 21 business lawn signs, valued at a total of some $470.
The incident made Channel 7 News on July 17 with Mr. Horodynsky, shown walking along Nassau Street with a news reporter, expressing his hope that Mr. Mulvey gets help and doesn’t lose his job at Princeton University.
Mr Horodynsky subsequently captured the broadcast on video and posted it to YouTube (www.youtube.com/channel/UCohwqy8Zh6UBv85ert7onEw) where it has received 71 views so far.
Mr. Mulvey, who lives on Puritan Court, has been teaching at Princeton University since 1978 and is a professor of operations research and financial engineering and a founding member of the Bendheim Center for Finance. The Center, which conducts research into links between financial economics and fields, such as engineering, operations research, mathematics, computer science, psychology, and public policy, is described on the Princeton University website as “comprised by a group of distinguished leaders in the financial industry.”
According to the University website, Mr. Mulvey is “a leading expert in large-scale optimization models and algorithms, especially financial applications” who has “implemented integrated risk management for many large financial companies, including American Express, Towers Perrin Tillinghast, Pacific Mutual, and St. Paul Insurance.” He “has built significant planning systems for government agencies, including the Office of Tax Analysis for the Treasury Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Defense Department,” and “edited five books and published over 140 scholarly papers.”
Mr. Mulvey told the press last week he had no intention of stealing the signs and was only cleaning up what he thought was trash.
The placement of business lawn signs is governed by local ordinance and they are not allowed in the public right of way, except with the approval of the zoning officer.