Three Pennsylvania residents were arrested last week in connection with at least 30 investigations of credit card theft in Princeton Borough.
The individuals were arrested during a stakeout at Starbucks at approximately 4 p.m. on Friday, January 28, when Det. Kevin Creegan of the Borough Police observed Mark Casen, 35, of Philadelphia, pickpocket a female patron.
The accused was confronted outside the coffee shop, located at 100 Nassau Street, where several police officers were waiting. Arrested along with Mr. Casen were Rafael Hall, 32, of Darby, Pa., and Stephanie Jo Labowitz, 23, of Philadelphia.
The arrests were the result of several pickpocket incidents that have occurred in the Borough, where credit cards were stolen and then used to make large purchases in West Windsor and Lawrence Township. Some of the credit cards were used in stores along Route 1, with total purchasing equally approximately $100,000, said police.
The three arrested are believed to be part of a larger group that may have committed numerous credit cards thefts over the past year, said Borough Police. Two other recent credit card thefts, which occurred on January 15 and January 19, also may have involved the accused.
The first theft took place at the Princeton Public Library at approximately 2:30 p.m. The victim, a 28-year-old female resident of Skillman, told police that her credit cards were stolen from her coat pocket while she was inside the library. The culprit then went to Home Depot in West Windsor and used the card to make purchases.
The theft on January 19 took place around 10:30 a.m., when the victim, a 42-year-old male Princeton Township resident, had inadvertently left his bank card in the ATM machine at 76 Nassau Street.
Detectives from the West Windsor Police Department are assisting Borough Police with the ongoing investigation. Anyone who believes to have had a credit card lost or stolen while in the Borough is asked to contact Det. Sgt. Nicholas Sutter, at (609) 921-8108.