Thursday, April 11, 2013
Residents turn in 1,302 weapons, with the Somerset forfeiture fund paying out $133,150.
To Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, the 1,302 rifles, shotguns, handguns and assault weapons purchased over the course of the county's first gun buyback program last week was an "outstanding success." "Why did we do all this? Our rationale, our goal — which is consistent with the Attorney General's policy — was to reduce the risk of injury, threat of accidental harm or injuries, reduce the number of firearms available for the commission of crimes and reduce crimes overall," Soriano said, during a news conference at his Somerville office. "It's all about removing unwanted guns from our community." Soriano referenced the shooting death of a 6-year-old in Toms River Tuesday more than once during the conference, which included a…
Friday, April 5, 2013
Somerset County prosecutor's office say thieves can target vehicles with key fob starters.
Following two reported thefts of luxury vehicles from Bernardsville mountain at the end of March, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has issued warnings to all residents in Somerset County to stress vehicle security and to avoid leaving key fobs in or nearby vehicles with start buttons. The recent thefts include a Jeep Grand Cherokee, locked but with a key fob inside, and a 2012 Lexus SUV RX350, valued at about $50,000, Bernardsville police said. Lexus of Bridgewater apparently had left the vehicle unlocked in the driveway, with the key in the cupholder, possibly as a loaner, according to the police report. This week, Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and Somerset County Chief of Detectives Stuart A. Buckman issued an …
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Extra enforcement planned in April for drivers using cell phones while driving.
Police in Somerset County will be helping remind drivers to put down cell phones while driving this month with added enforcement under a program called "Put It Down 2013." April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month across the country, and Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano and the Somerset County Traffic Safety Alliance are making the program aimed at preventing drivers from being distracted by calls or texts a priority, the prosecutor's office said. In announcing the program, the prosecutor's office noted there were 11,674 motor vehicle crashes reported to police in Somerset County in 2012—44 percent of those crashes were caused by driver inattention. Drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if driving while…
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Readington man charged with burglary after being found in possession of handgun allegedly stolen from Hillsborough home.
A Hunterdon County man has been arrested on burglary, theft and weapons charges as a result of an investigation by a task force of law agencies in Hunterdon and Somerset counties. James Defazio, 32, of Readington, is accused of burglarizing several homes and being in possession of a stolen handgun. The investigation was conducted by law enforcement officials in Hunterdon and Somerset counties, including police from Bernards Township and Hillsborough, prosecutors for both counties said on Thursday. Although Bernards police were part of the investigating team, Bernards Lt. Mike Voorhees said he could not say specifically whether any of the burglary charges facing Defazio at this time are related to reported burglaries within Bernards …
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Route 206 resident accused of providing false records to support claim.
A Hillsborough resident was charged Friday with third-degree insurance fraud, after providing a miselading water bill in support of a claim a broken pipe caused water damage to a finished basement, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano. Soriano and Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Stuart A.Buckman announced the charge field against Faramarz Azimi, 56, of Route 206 in the Belle Mead section of Hillsborough. According to the prosecutor, Azimi filed the claim with New Jersey Manufacturer's Insurance on Sept. 6, 2011, saying his basement was damaged by a basement sink valve that leaked and flooded his basement on Sept. 3, 2011. In support of his claim, Azimi reportedly included a copy of his New …
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Four men with a submachine gun stole $2,500 from Super 8 on Route 202, prosecutor says.
- POLICE & FIRE
Thursday, January 10
A reward is being offered in the investigation of an armed robbery that occurred Tuesday at the Super 8 Motel on Route 202 in Raritan, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. The reward is set at up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of the individuals responsible for the robbery, Soriano said. Soriano said that at about 2:04 a.m. Tuesday, four men entered the main lobby of the Super 8 Motel with a submachine gun. Once inside the lobby, Soriano said, the robbers physically forced a female guest and motel clerk into the main office. After ransacking the office, Soriano said, the men left the building. Soriano said the clerk of the motel called 911 at 2:13 a.m. to report the incident. The Somerset County …
Photos and video of children allegedly discovered following undercover investigation.
- POLICE & FIRE
Thursday, January 10
An Old York Road man was charged on Wednesday with having video and image files of children engaged in sexual acts, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. George Minkas, 46, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the case. According to Soriano, Minkas was arrested following an undercover investigation by the Somerset County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The force, Soriano said, consists of detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office and the Somerset County Sheriff's Office. In the investigation, Soriano said, detectives found that Minkas's computer had video and image files of children under 16 years of age engaging in sexual acts. The task force executed a search warrant on …
Saturday, January 5, 2013
26-year-old Manuel Antonio Guevara was last seen alive on Dec. 26. His body was recovered from Watchung Lake Friday morning.
The body of a 26-year-old missing North Plainfield man was found in Watchung Lake Friday morning. The cause of Manuel Antonio Guevara's death has not yet been determined, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said. Guevara's body was recovered from the lake by divers with the Somerset County Dive Team at 8 a.m. according to a press release sent Friday by Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano, Chief of Detectives Stuart A. Buckman and Watchung Borough Police Chief Timothy Wenzel. Authorities searched for Guevara throughout the day on Thursday in the area and partially drained the lake. The man's body was found about 20 feet from the shoreline, the prosecutor's office said. Guevara was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 26 …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Then-25-year-old disappeared in 1973, and his remains were matched to DNA samples in 2011.
- POLICE & FIRE
Thursday, December 6, 2012
The Crime Stoppers of Somerset County Inc. is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information concerning the 1973 disappearance and murder of Bound Brook resident Joseph Dziowgo, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey Soriano. According to Soriano, on May 10, 1973, Bridgewater Township Police received a report that then 25-year-old Dziowgo, living on Drake Street in Bound Brook, was missing. In May 2010, Soriano said, Somerset County Prosecutor's Office detectives spoke to Dziowgo's family about a DNA initiative through the University of North Texas. After obtaining consent from the family, Soriano said, they got a DNA sample from family members to attempt to locate the missing man. Then, in September 2010 Soriano said, …
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
East Brookside Lane resident pleads guilty to lying on car insurance applications for 13 years.
A Hillsborough woman pleaded guilty Friday to insurance fraud after lying on her car insurance applications for 13 years, the Somerset County Prosecutor's Office said. Maria Demeter, 42, of East Brookside Lane, agreed in front of Superior Court Judge Julie M. Marino, sitting in Somerville, to make restitution to the New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, and was ordered to perform 50 hours of community service and be placed on non-custodial probation. Demeter, also known as Maria Schebece, was charged in August with insurance fraud for lying on her applications with NJM since 1999, claiming to be living alone when she was married and living with her husband, who did not qualify for the company's insurance, the prosecutor's office said in a …