TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has identified the victim of the shooting on Centre Street, November 29 as Omar Billups, 37, of Trenton.
At approximately 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, November 29, police responded to a male shot in the 300 block of Centre Street. The victim, Omar Billups, 37, was located in a first-floor apartment suffering a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced at the scene.
This makes the 39th homicide of 2020 in the City of Trenton.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 10:15 pm in the 800 Block of S. Clinton Avenue between Hudson Street and Roebling Avenue a grey Ford Economy Van struck a pedestrian. Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene. The person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center and a “trauma alert” was called. Trenton Police are investigating so no other information will be available.
TOMS RIVER, NJ (OCEAN)–Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on November 30, 2020, John T. Mullen, Jr., 51, of Seaside Heights, was sentenced to twenty-two years in New Jersey State Prison by the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, J.S.C., as a result of his previously entered guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4. This sentence is subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2., meaning that Mullen will be required to serve at least 85 percent of his prison sentence before he may be considered for parole eligibility. Mullen pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter before Judge Ryan on September 23, 2020.
On October 20, 2019, Manchester Township Police responded to the Surf and Stream Campground after receiving multiple 911 calls about a body lying in the entrance driveway to the campground. Upon arrival, Manchester patrol units found the body of Thomas J. Applegate, 34, of Manchester, lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a wound in his chest. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. A joint investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Manchester Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit determined that Mullen stabbed Mr. Applegate during the course of a drug deal, which ultimately resulted in his death.
“The law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation – through sheer hard work and resolve – swiftly identified Mullen as the individual responsible for Mr. Applegate’s death and quickly brought him into custody,” Prosecutor Billhimer stated. “The exceptional teamwork displayed by these law enforcement professionals has brought about a lengthy state prison sentence for Mullen, which may, as Judge Ryan pointed out, effectively result in a life sentence given this defendant’s age and longstanding history of substance abuse,” Prosecutor Billhimer continued. “We hope this sentence affords the family of Mr. Applegate some level of peace and closure,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.
Prosecutor Billhimer commends the diligence of Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Michael Abatemarco and Assistant Prosecutor Alyssa Mandara who handled the case on behalf of the State, as well as the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Victim Witness Advocacy Unit, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, who collectively did an outstanding job investigating and resolving this matter, ensuring that Mullen would be brought to justice.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Heavy rain and winds pounding the area this evening knocked down power lines on Nottingham Way near Donald Drive around 5:00 pm. Hamilton Township Fire Department responded to the scene along with Mercer County Fire Police and Hamilton Township Police Department. PSE&G arrived on scene and was making repairs. A detour was set up in the area until the lines could be made safe to move out of the roadway.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Tornado watches, severe thunder storm warnings and flash flood and flood warnings were all issued by the National Weather Service this afternoon though this evening.
Several drivers around Mercer County decided to drive though floodwaters needed to be rescued from their vehicles when their vehicles became disabled and stuck in the floods.
Route 29 North Bound prior to Calhoun Street a vehicle drove though flood waters and became disabled. The Trenton Fire Department responded to the South Bound lanes and were able to remove the driver from the stalled vehicle.
In Lawrence Township a person was removed from their vehicle at Princeton Pike and Devon Avenue and another location.
Firefighters were sent to several locations in Hopewell Township to remove occupants of stalled vehicles.
Here is a public service message from the National Weather Service, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–The Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS and Hamilton Township Police responded to an overturned vehicle with entrapment. The accident occurred around 5:35 pm at the intersection of Rennie Street and South Clinton Avenue.
When firefighters arrived they found a person still inside an overturned vehicle and began extrication of the trapped subject. Within minutes firefighters had the subject out of the vehicle and turned them over to RWJ EMS. It appears that the person refused medical advice and did not want transport to the hospital.
Hamilton Police shut down the roadway until the vehicle could be up righted and towed away.
Exceptions: Collegiate level and professional teams.
November 30, 2020
TRENTON-ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy announced in the COVID-19 Press Confrence and via Facebook that youth and adult sports are being place on full pause from December 5th to January 2, 2021. See below as we wait for further direction and a release from the Governor’s Office with an Executive Order that should be available later today. Those items will be added to this story when available. Also the NJSIAA headquartered in Robbinsville has released a statement via social media.
Governor Phil Murphy: “All indoor youth and adult sports are being placed on a full pause – effective 6:00 AM on December 5th through January 2nd, 2021.We’re seeing outbreaks related to indoor sports, and this will help slow the spread. Only exceptions: collegiate-level and professional teams.”
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Major League Baseball in conjunction with MLB’s partner, Prep Baseball Report (PBR), has announced the formation of the new MLB Draft League to complete MLB’s 21st Century vision for minor league player development. Set to launch in 2021, the MLB-affiliated league will be anchored in NJ by the top-rated Trenton Thunder organization, and will be recognized as the Premier League in the country focused on baseball’s top prospects eligible to be drafted by MLB Clubs each summer.
“We are thrilled to share with our fans and sponsor partners the exciting news that your Trenton Thunder will be a founding member of the new MLB Draft League for the 2021 season and continue to bring family fun to ARM & HAMMER Park,” said Thunder GM/COO Jeff Hurley. “We are dedicated to delivering our Power of Fun brand to our fans as the Thunder Entertainment Experience they have enjoyed for the last 27 years, featuring the antics of our beloved mascot Boomer having a blast in the crowd. Fans will continue to enjoy our World Famous Bat Dogs retrieving bats, with Dash making his debut this summer. The new MLB Draft League will showcase the best prospects in baseball eligible for the MLB draft. Thunder fans will get to know these players as they begin their path as future stars of Major League Baseball.”
“For legions of Trenton Thunder fans, the development of a new league showcasing up and coming talent will be a real thrill. Major League Baseball’s success is built on a thriving minor league system, and for 27 years Thunder supporters have visited our Capital City, warmly welcoming new players and proudly cheering others on to the big leagues. Mercer County has made wise investments into the ballpark – benefitting both the fans and players – and the new Trenton Thunder team will be developed in a first-class facility. This news is a win for everyone – The Thunder, Mercer County, the City of Trenton, and especially baseball fans, and we look forward to a great season.” — Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes
“This is great news for the Thunder and proves the resiliency of the city of Trenton and Mercer County. The Thunder has a rich history as a winning franchise which provides family entertainment at an affordable price in a great location for baseball fans throughout the region. Trenton’s rich industrial heritage proved Trenton Makes, the World Takes. This tradition continues with the creation of the MLB Draft League as The Thunder Makes, MLB Takes.” — Greater Trenton Chief Executive Officer George Sowa
The Trenton Thunder, presented by NJM Insurance Group, continues its award-winning Entertainment Experience as the action packed summer place to be and will be joined by the Williamsport Crosscutters, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, State College Spikes and West Virginia Black Bears, also all MLB-affiliated teams, as hand-selected founding members of the MLB Draft League. MLB is in advanced negotiations with more teams to be announced in the coming weeks.
The MLB Draft will be simulcasted in a closed-circuit telecast live from ARM & HAMMER Park as part of MLB All-Star Week in mid-July. The MLB Draft League’s rosters are filled with draft-eligible players who will have a unique opportunity to showcase their abilities and gain exposure to other MLB clubs and crowds of Thunder fans each year.
The MLB Draft League will feature an exciting jammed packed 68-game regular season, scheduled to run from late May to mid-August with an annual All-Star Break centered around the MLB Draft and featuring our Thunder players. Players will receive unprecedented visibility to MLB scouts through in-person observation and state-of-the-art scouting technology, as well as instruction from former MLB players on the Thunder staff. Our professional baseball coaching staff will develop the skills of Thunder players, with the dream of one day adding their names to the nearly 400 Thunder players who have made it to the Big Leagues.
Mayor Gusciora Statement on Trenton Thunder Joining MLB Draft League
On behalf of the residents of our great city, we welcome MLB’s new Draft League, which will have our very own Trenton Thunder as a founding member.
We’re sure our community will enjoy the chance to watch a new generation of major league prospects at our waterfront stadium. It will be exciting to see top college players showcase their skills as they ready themselves for MLB. Their successes will be a wonderful inspiration to our youth. Plus, keeping the Thunder in business is good for our local economy and provides badly needed jobs for our residents.
We thank MLB for stepping up to the plate and making sure baseball still has a home in the Capital City.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At 11:29 am the Trenton Fire Department was dispatched to 30 Cumberland Avenue for a house fire. A neighbor called 9-1-1 smelling smoke and also another call from a high rise saying they could see smoke in the area were both reporting the fire.
Trenton Fire Department arrived on scene and reported a large 3 story attached home with smoke and fire on the 3rd floor. Firefighters stretched lines and battled back the flames on the 3rd floor that was also extending the the neighbor’s house. TFD had the main body of fire knocked down within 15 minutes and reported they had a few hot spots to extinguish.
Kuser Road will be closed for hours between Michael McCorristin Road and Klockner Road.
November 30, 2020
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–As heavy rain and winds move though the area, around 10:00 am a resident reported a large flash and bang sounding like thunder just prior to several utility poles crashing to the ground on Kuser Road in front of Crockett Middle School. The Hamilton Township Fire Department and Hamilton Police Department responded to the scene to block off the area and check to make sure everyone was safe.
From photos there appears to be four utility poles severed at their bases and wires laying in the street. There also appears to be damage to an additional 3 poles for a total of at least 7 poles that will need replacement. PSE&G was on scene and a supervisor was calling in additional teams, supplies, and equipment to make repairs. This will be an extended operation.
The Hamilton Township Fire Police were on scene directing traffic and the Hamilton Township Public Works Department were setting up barricades for the extended road closure.
Kuser Road is closed between Michael McCorristin Road and Klockner Road. A detour is set up around the area.
The National Weather Service Philadelphia-Mount Holly reports: “Showers will continue this afternoon with heavy rainfall possible, along with a chance of thunderstorms later this afternoon. The main threat is damaging winds, but there is a small chance of tornadoes. The main timing for thunderstorms is 3 pm-6 pm”
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–Hamilton Township Fire Department and Hamilton Police Department are on scene of wires down on the roadway on Kuser Road in the area Crockett Middle School between Michael McCorristin Drive and Klockner Road. It is reported that 3 poles are down and wires across the roadway. The road is expected to be closed for an extended period. PSE&G has arrived and assessing the situation. Hamilton Township Fire Police will be directing traffic in the area and the Hamilton Township Public Works department was en route with barricades. Check back for more photos from the scene.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Sources say that around 4:30 am a stabbing occurred in the 600 block of Lamberton Street. Trenton EMS and paramedics from Capital Health responded to the scene for a male with two stab wounds to the chest. A “trauma alert” was called when the victim was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. MCPO confirms that the Trenton Police Department is investigating the incident, so most likely no other information will be available.
MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MONMOUTH)–The Millstone Township Fire Department responded to Seasonal World on Route 537 this afternoon around 3:50 pm for a car in a pool. Upon arrival the driver of the vehicle was out out the vehicle and out of the water. No further information was available.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–NJ State Police Sgt. Philip Curry of the Public Information Bureau told MidJersey.News, the crash occurred at 6:10 am on State Highway 29 northbound mile post 1 in Hamilton Township.
Sgt. Curry stated, preliminary information indicates that a Toyota operated by Sharon Shelton, 57 of Trenton, N.J., was traveling south in the northbound lanes. The Shelton Toyota impacted the front of a northbound travelling Ford operated by Priscila Martins, 33, of Philadelphia, PA. As a result of the crash, the Martins Ford ran off the road to the right, struck guardrail, overturned, and struck a tree. Both drivers sustained serious injuries.
State Highway 29 north was closed at mile post 1 for approximately 5 hours resulting in minimal traffic congestion. According to NJ State Police, this crash is still under investigation and there is no further information at this time.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Last night’s unfortunate deaths mark our 38th and 39th homicides for the year and now eclipse the previous record set in 2013. When we set out to lift Trenton together, this was not the milestone we wanted to see. In fact, overall crime was trending downward the previous two years, with 16 homicides in 2018 and 15 homicides in 2019.
2020 is a year of many challenges, but none looms larger than COVID-19. Of all the factors that separate the previous years from this one, this virus clearly stands out, not just here but in so many places across the country.
Economic uncertainty is higher than it has ever been in recent memory. School was for some children the only safe space they had. Youth engagement and recreational activities have grinded to a halt. Every police officer who has to quarantine for 14 days is one less guardian on the street, a heavy blow for a police department that is already much smaller than it was just a few years ago.
I understand this provides little comfort to the family and friends that lost loved ones to the violence. I’ve sat with the families. I’ve visited the hospitals. They don’t want excuses. They want a city that is safe for their children.
But safety will never be possible if we don’t stop the ready supply of weapons that are used in these crimes. Thankfully, the Trenton Police Department (TPD) has already seized more than 200 guns and 3,000 rounds of ammunition this year alone. God only knows how much worse things would be if these weapons were still on the street.
Also, our law enforcement partners at the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and the N.J. State Police continue to help the capital city at a time when they are needed the most. Just a few weeks ago the N.J. State Police and the TPD arrested two-gun traffickers who were peddling firearms from South Carolina into Trenton streets. They also arrested 24 individuals and recovered more than a dozen weapons after a raid on Tyrell Street last week.
This critical partnership will continue in our real-time crime center that will make it even easier to collaborate on gunfire detection and hotspot surveillance when it goes live early next year.
While the police department works to dismantle crime in our streets, my administration is working to address the very environment in which it festers. We established a new re-entry program to break the recidivism that traps so many of our residents in an endless cycle of crime. We’re building new safe and affordable housing for residents and improving community centers all around the city. We’re also making loans available for businesses who are affected by COVID-19 to help keep Trentonians employed.
We can’t do it alone. When Gustavo and Johnny Perez were tragically murdered in October and we pleaded with the community to cooperate with the police, many of you responded. Thankfully, tips to the TPD have gone up since then, and we hope we can count on this trend in the future.
Please, continue to get involved. If you are a business, register your cameras with Trenton Crime Eye. If you are a resident, ask the TPD about participating in its new Block Watch Program. As always, if you see something, say something on the TPD’s anonymous tip line at 609-989-3663.
We can never make up for the losses our city suffered this year. We are carefully evaluating Trenton law enforcement leadership and strategy at this moment. We owe it to our residents to explore every possible avenue to ensure 2021 is not a repeat of 2020.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–At approximately 9:50 p.m. on Saturday evening, November 28, police responded to a report of male stabbed in the 300 block of Brunswick Avenue. Upon arrival, they located the victim, Daniel Alvaranga, 33, in the intersection of Brunswick Avenue and Southard Street. He was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later.
Then at approximately 2:50 a.m. Sunday morning, November 29, police responded to a male shot in the 300 block of Centre Street. The victim, a male in his 30s, was located in a first-floor apartment suffering a gunshot wound to the head. He was pronounced at the scene. A tentative identification of the victim has been made, but his name will not be released until a positive identification is confirmed.
The homicides do not appear to be related. Both investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at (609) 989-6406. Information can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office has just confirmed two homicides with a stabbing last night and a shooting this morning in separate incidents. Further details to follow.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Just hours after a fatal stabbing a fatal shooting occurred around 3:00 am according to sources. The shots rang out in the 300 Block of Centre Street. The Mercer County Homicide Task Force is investigating. No other information is available.
Then again this morning at 8:58 am 2 people were stabbed in the 900 block of Beatty Street near Lalor Street. Trenton EMS sent 2 ambulances, Trenton Fire Department requested an additional engine and two Capital Health paramedic units raced to save lives of the stabbing victims. There were two trauma alerts called for the stabbings and the victims were transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center this morning.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–A serious crash occurred on Route 29 North Bound around 6:30 am in what appears (from photos) to be three vehicles. The highway is closed in the North Bound direction for a serious crash investigation, seek alternate routes if heading towards Trenton this morning. Also one lane is closed in the south bound direction while NJSP redirects traffic stuck during the crash.
Hamilton Township Fire Department, RWJ EMS, and paramedics from Capital Health responded. The NJSP Serious Crash Investigation Unit is on scene investigating.
Team Coverage by: Dennis Symons and Brian McCarthy, check back for updated information shortly
November 28, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 9:50 pm a person was stabbed in the 300 Block of Brunswick Avenue near Southard Street. Trenton Police, Trenton Fire Department, Trenton EMS and Capital Health Paramedics responded to the scene for a male stabbed in the chest. Upon arrival a “Trauma Code” was called, the man was quickly placed in the TEMS Ambulance and raced to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center. Sources tell MidJersey.News the man was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
At the scene Trenton Police marked off an area with crime scene tape and were waiting for the Mercer County Homicide Task Force to arrive to begin the investigation.
This is a Breaking News Report from on scene reporting, witnesses, sources and radio traffic. An email requesting press information has been sent into the public information officer at 9:56 pm, but as of the time of this report a reply has not been received. Once official information is received the story will be updated and corrections if needed will be made at that time.
Another serious pedestrian accident also occurred at South Broad and Dayton taken to Trauma Center with Trauma Alert called.
November 28, 2020
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A pedestrian was struck around 10:40 pm at the intersection of Hamilton and South Clinton Avenues. Trenton EMS, Trenton Fire Department and Capital Paramedics were on scene treating the victim of the crash. Trenton Police was on scene investigating and was marking out an area with crime scene tape for an investigation. No further information was available about this pedestrian struck.
Earlier there was another pedestrian struck by a vehicle on South Broad Street and Dayton street around 5:30 pm. The victim was in serious condition and a trauma alert was called during transport to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center by TEMS and paramedics.
South Broad Street was closed while a serious accident investigation was conducted. No further information was available about that pedestrian struck.
JACKSON, NJ (OCEAN)–The cool and rainy weather did not stop participants from coming out on Thanksgiving morning to support the Turkey Trot 5K race, which benefits the Marc Castellano Foundation. Troopers were joined by local police and members of the community to help raise money for the foundation.
The Marc Castellano Foundation is a non-profit charity organization, which raises money for student scholarships, law enforcement families in need, the Move Over campaign, and other great causes. The foundation was named in honor of fallen Trooper Marc Castellano, who was killed in the line of duty on June 6, 2010 after being struck by a car. Thank you to everyone that came out to help support a great cause!
Related MidJersey.News stories here on Trooper Marc Castellano and recent Slow Down Move Over incidents.
MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ (MIDDLESEX)–On Thanksgiving night at approximately 8:38pm Monroe Twp. Police Officers, Monroe Twp. First Aid Squad, and Monroe Twp. Fire Department were dispatched to Pergola Ave. near the intersection with Namsan Dr. for a report of an overturned vehicle in the middle of the roadway, fully engulfed in flames, and the driver was trapped inside the vehicle.
Officer Douglas Perrone arrived on scene minutes later and attempted to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher. Officer Perrone then put his own life at risk and climbed inside of the burning vehicle and was able to pull the driver from the vehicle. At this time Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 Deputy Chief Lonnie Pipero arrived on scene and assisted Officer Perrone with the rescue. The 30-year-old male driver was then transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital by Monroe Twp. First Aid Squad in serious condition due to internal injuries. Officer Perrone was also taken to the hospital due to smoke inhalation. Officer Perrone was treated and released. Monroe Twp. Volunteer Fire Company #1 was able to quickly extinguish the fire.
Preliminary investigation revealed that Vehicle 1 (2013 Ford Fusion) operated by the 30-year-old male driver was traveling Eastbound on Pergola Ave. approaching the intersection with Namsan Dr. Vehicle 2 (2018 Kia Optima) operated by a 74-year-old male driver was traveling Westbound on Pergola Ave. just West of the intersection with Namsan Dr. For an unknown reason vehicle 1 crossed over the double yellow center line and left the roadway to the left. Vehicle 1 then struck a tree, overturned, and came to the position of final rest on its roof with the vehicle on fire in the center of Pergola Ave. Driver of vehicle 2 was unable to avoid vehicle 1 and struck it while it was on its roof in the middle of the roadway. Driver #2 was uninjured.
This accident is being investigated by Sergeant Anthony Trohalides and Officer Daniel Mosakowski of the Monroe Twp. Traffic Safety Division. Anyone who might have witnessed this crash is asked to contact the Monroe Township Police Traffic Safety Division at 732-521-0222 Ext. 126.
HIGHTSTOWN, NJ (MERCER)–At 5:45 pm tonight Santa arrived from the North Pole in preparation for Christmas. Santa’s sleigh and reindeer were parked behind the firehouse where the reindeer enjoyed treats and fresh water provided in preparation for their return trip back to their home at the North Pole tonight.
While the reindeer were on break, Santa climbed aboard Ladder 41 for a trip around town with the members of Hightstown Engine Company #1. Santa wanted to visit the town’s children to let them know he is watching and will be returning on Christmas Eve. Santa stated that he had to scale things down this year because of social distancing because of COVID-19 and promised things should return to normal for next Christmas.
After the ride around town on the fire department’s ladder Santa quickly returned to his sleigh and raced back to the North Pole to get toys together for Christmas. Prior to departing, he mentioned that this is his busy season and has a tight time schedule but will return to different places in NJ over the next month.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–A taxi cab rear-ended a construction van on Liberty Street near Park Avenue tonight around 7:10 pm. When Trenton Police arrived they requested Trenton Fire Department for an extrication because the occupant of cab could not get out of their own. Trenton EMS responded and transported the injured. Trenton Police are investigating the crash. No other information is available about the incident.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Around 5:30 there were reports of a double stabbing at 620 West State Street inside the Rowan Towers. Victims were located on two different floors. Trenton EMS, Trenton Fire Department and Trenton Police responded to the scene. At least one person was transported to the Trauma Center at Capital Health Regional Medical Center with a “trauma alert” called. There was no word available on the condition of the others.
This is a breaking news report, we are just telling you what we know. As with much of the violent crime in the City of Trenton no media information will be available. There are very few news releases that come from TPD as compared to surrounding towns. If anything is released it usually comes from the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office and only when it involves a homicide. If we receive information the story will be updated with current information and any corrections made if needed.
HAMILTON TOWNSHIP (MERCER): A two vehicle collision occurred on Sloan Avenue near the I-295 off ramp around 5:50 pm. One vehicle involved, a truck with a trailer, fled the scene after unhooking the trailer from the truck. The extent of injuries sustained are unknown.
ROBBINSVILLE, NJ (MERCER)–The Robbinsville Township Fire Department and EMS along with Hightstown First Aid Squad were dispatched to Mile Marker 62.1 North Bound for an accident with injures at 9:48 pm. Upon arrival several in the one vehicle crash stated they were hurt and wanted transport to the hospital. The injures seem to be walking wounded and non-life-threating. The Robbinsville Township ambulance transported 3 occupants of the vehicle to RWJ at Hamilton Hospital. It was not clear how many Hightstown First Aid transported from the accident. No further information was available.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs today are warning consumers to be on the lookout for new scams and a slew of cyber-attacks targeting shoppers as the holiday shopping season kicks off, primarily online.
According to a National Retail Federation survey, more than 60% of consumers plan to complete the majority of their holiday purchases online, up from 56% last year and the highest in the survey’s 17-year history. The surge creates a perfect storm for hackers who seek to gain access to consumers’ personal information.
Phishing, impersonation scams, fraudulent sites and malware attacks are among the most common tools used by scammers to prey on shoppers. These schemes are designed to steal financial information by convincing distracted bargain hunters to share their personal information or provide access to their electronic devices.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and Black Friday combination is like the Super Bowl for cyber criminals; they are good at the game and they’ve had time to practice and rehearse each play,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We urge New Jerseyans to stay informed and protect themselves from these attempts to score this holiday season.”
Shopping scams typically come via email, text message or phone call. Consumers may receive purported special offers or important messages about their account or purchase that require them to provide personal information or click on a link. While searching for deep discounts, consumers should be on the lookout for false advertising and unsecured sites. If products are advertised at an unusually low price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“Shoppers in New Jersey have rights and protections under the law, but internet fraud remains a growing threat, with scammers employing increasingly sophisticated tactics to take advantage of consumers,” said Paul Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Cyber pirates are out in full force to steal the holiday cheer. Taking precautions, learning how to recognize threats, and monitoring accounts are steps shoppers can take to protect themselves this holiday shopping season.”
Whether consumers plan to shop online or in-store, following these precautions can help them spot potential fraud and shop safely:
Reputation and reviews: Do your homework and research brands or merchandise by typing the name and the words “scam,” “complaint” or “reviews” into a search engine. Take into consideration a company’s reputation and what others are saying about the quality of the product or service. Be suspect of any company with only positive reviews, as they could have been paid for or manipulated.
Pricing: Make sure you know the price of the item before getting in line for the register or putting the item in your online cart. New Jersey law requires merchants to clearly mark the price of items either on the items themselves or the display where the items are located.
Refund policies: Can you return an item for a full refund? Some stores have fairly strict rules about returns. Keep all your receipts and store tags on purchased items. For online purchases, save all your email correspondence with the seller. If the item is purchased online, see if you have to pay for return shipping and handling. There can be other conditions placed on returns and refunds as well, ask about policies before you buy and before you seek to return an item.
Use familiar websites: If you know the site, go there by typing the address directly rather than clicking on a link that was sent to you. Make sure websites are not fraudulent by checking that they use the correct spelling of a business name, have operational customer service numbers, and have a real street address rather than a post office box.
Shopping Apps: Be aware that some shopping apps collect a lot of personal information. Make sure that you understand how your data will be used. Only use apps that clearly tell you what they do with your data and how they keep it secure.
Look for the Lock: Avoid buying anything online using your credit card from a site that doesn’t have SSL (secure sockets layer) encryption installed. You’ll know if the site has SSL because the URL for the site will start with HTTPS—instead of just HTTP. An icon of a locked padlock will appear, typically to the left of the URL in the address bar or the status bar down below.
Avoid phishing scams. Watch out for unsolicited emails, texts, or calls offering a free item or letting you know there’s a problem with a delivery. Clicking on a link to verify or provide information could expose you to identity theft or allow malware onto your electronic device. When in doubt, consumers should always check the email sender details and hover over links to ensure they lead to trusted websites before clicking. Also, use up-to-date antivirus software, which will help you avoid non-secure websites and pop-up phishing scams.
Secure networks: Do not use public Wi-Fi to do your shopping. Open networks make it easier for hackers to steal your information. Consider using a virtual private network to be safe. Make sure that your home’s Wi-Fi network is secured with a password.
Use your credit card. It’s always best to make purchases with your credit card rather than a debit card or other payment means. If any shady charges turn up later, you will be able to contest them through your credit card company. Debit cards don’t offer the same protections. If you used a credit card, many retailers will also process a return or refund even if you lost or misplaced the receipt. Never make purchases with online sellers by giving them prepaid debit cards or wiring them money.
Gift cards: Only buy cards from reputable sellers to ensure the card is valid and was not previously used. Under state law, gift cards and gift certificates must retain their full value for 24 months after purchase. After that period, merchants are allowed to charge a dormancy fee of up to $2 a month, as long as that fee is disclosed on the card or certificate or sales receipt or package for the card or certificate. While a gift card or certificate may list an expiration date, the underlying funds never expire. The merchant must include a telephone number for consumer inquiries into the expiration date and dormancy fees on the card.
For more holiday shopping tips and information on avoiding scams, visit the Division’s website for a wealth of consumer briefs and educational materials.
Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of consumer abuse, can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or call 1-800-242-5846 to receive a complaint form by mail.
TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)– Today, Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 203, postponing all special school elections from January 26, 2021 to the March 2021 special school election date.
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to ensure that elections are held in a manner that ensures that every citizen is able to vote while conserving time and resources,” said Governor Murphy. “This change will allow special school elections scheduled for the first quarter of next year to be held on the same day, minimizing the burden on elections officials.”
Additionally, this executive order modifies Executive Order No. 193 such that notices in lieu of sample ballots for the Perth Amboy runoff election are mailed as “return service requested”, as required by current law.