Dozens of car break-ins seen in Sayreville area


Staff Writer

SAYREVILLE – Some 25 cars were broken into and thousands of dollars worth of property was stolen in the borough on a single night this week.

Cars parked outside two neighboring borough homes and in the parking lots of the Costa Verde restaurant, the Colosseum Nightclub and the Burger King on Route 9 south were burglarized Sunday night. The incidents of criminal mischief and larceny may be connected with similar occurrences in Old Bridge, Perth Amboy and Woodbridge, according to Sayreville Chief of Police John Garbowski.

Garbowski noted that halogen headlights were specifically targeted, possibly for sale on the black market.

“This was obviously a planned operation,” Garbowski said, “and these people did come in and had a definite plan on how they were going to do this.”

A resident of Harkins Street saw a small dark vehicle drive up and down the street at around 11 p.m. Sunday. The vehicle reportedly backed into a driveway down the street and at some point the witness heard an alarm sounding. The next morning, two vehicles parked in the driveway of one residence on the street were found broken into and ransacked, but nothing was missing.

It turned out that entry was made into an Infinity by prying and damaging the door handle. The car’s headlight assembly was also damaged in what appeared to be an attempt to remove the lights, according to police. A 2001 Dodge Stratus that was parked in front of the house was also burglarized. Entry was forced by prying the lock to both front doors, and the inside of the was car ransacked. A Ryobi cordless drill valued at $90 was missing.

Patrons of the Costa Verde restaurant, routes 9 and 35, found five vehicles broken into and ransacked in the rear parking lot around 12:30 a.m. All the vehicles were broken into by punching out the door locks to gain entry.

A 2004 Lexus ES had an undetermined amount of items stolen, including two front headlights valued at $1,000. The inside of the car was reportedly in disarray.

A Pioneer DVD radio valued at approximately $500, a Sony digital camera estimated at $500 and other items were taken from a 1996 Ford Explorer, according to police reports.

Also, a 2002 black Chevy Suburban had the lock pushed in on the driver’s side door, and scratches were visible from the use of a tool to break into the car and steal a handicap placard. A 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo had a black check folder containing $408 cash, two debit cards, a time card for work and a Sony DVD Player stolen.

Nothing was stolen from a 2006 BMW 530I in the same lot, but the driver’s side door lock had been pushed in and scratch marks were visible from the use of a tool to force the lock.

At the Colosseum Nightclub, Route 35, some 15 vehicles were found burglarized by 1:45 a.m.

The driver’s window of a Honda Civic was broken, and stolen from the vehicle were a $300 stereo head unit, $350 amplifier, $500 box with speakers, registration and insurance cards, rear speakers, a $250 iPod, $80 connector for the iPod, two jackets, two pairs of sneakers and a $400 paycheck.

Taken from a 1999 Acura TL were $1,600 xenon headlights and a $200 iPod Nano.

Police reports indicated that a blunt object was used to force entry into a 2001 Mitsubishi Mirage. A head unit for a stereo was taken and a saxophone was damaged and found elsewhere in the nightclub lot. Some $526 in cash was reportedly stolen from a bag in the vehicle, while another person had $412 stolen from the same car.

Both passenger-side windows of a 2002 Mitsubishi Galant parked in the lot were broken using a blunt object. Two $400 DVD players were reportedly stolen. A police officer located a lug wrench on the ground near the vehicle, which may have been used to break into vehicles.

At the north side of the parking lot, a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder was found with the driver’s window shattered. A wallet was removed from the center console that contained three credit cards and approximately $100 cash.

A 2002 Acura ATL was found with its $1,600 headlights removed in the same parking lot.

A 1996 Mitsubishi Galant was broken into, with damage found to the console and a $200 head unit for the stereo reportedly stolen. One of the victim’s credit cards also was missing. A blunt object had been used to force entry.

A Honda Accord was found with the passenger-side window smashed. A $180 radio, video iPod valued at $300, $50

headphone jack and $50 in cash were reportedly stolen.

The owner of a purple 1997 Dodge Neon told authorities that whoever broke into the car had to disarm an alarm system first. It is unknown how the perpetrators got into the vehicle without damaging its exterior, as the doors were locked. A $700 Panasonic stereo system was stolen from the vehicle.

A 1964 Mitsubishi Galant was found with its passenger window smashed. Nothing appeared missing from the vehicle, however.

A series of car burglaries were reported in the lot adjacent to the nightclub’s lot. The window of a 2005 Mazda MZ6 was smashed and a $350 leather Banana Republic jacket, $250 Canon Sureshot digital camera, and music equipment valued at approximately $200 was stolen.

In the same area of the lot, another vehicle was found with the passenger window smashed. A $195 CD radio Pioneer Supertuner was reportedly stolen.

Also, the front and back passenger windows of another vehicle were found smashed, and a Samsung cell phone worth $50 was missing.

A 2004 Honda Accord also parked by the club was found with the driver’s window smashed. A Verizon Samsung cell phone worth $200 was reportedly stolen.

Also in that parking lot, a Chrysler was found with a window shattered and $200 in cash stolen.

A Hyundai Sonata was found with its rear passenger window shattered. A laptop computer worth $2,000 was stolen, along with the black case it was in.

Police recovered numerous items at the scene that may have been discarded in the perpetrators’ haste to hit so many vehicles in a short period of time. Officers collected a clear plastic headlight lens cover, a purse, a set of keys, clothing and a power tool case with the tools missing.

A man whose 1998 Chevy Tahoe was parked in the lot of the Burger King and Primetime Sports Bar, Route 9, reported a theft from his car Monday. The car had been parked there since noon on Sunday. Reports said entry was forced by prying and forcing the driver’s side door lock open, similar to the method used elsewhere that night. A radio, pager, cell phone, gym bag, wallet with credit cards and identification were reportedly stolen.

Garbowski advised the public to park their cars in well-lighted areas, as close as possible to whatever building they may be going into.