Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2, Mar 7, 2018 | MonroeNow
A Middlesex County town trying to find the individuals responsible for a recent wave of vandalism has started a tip line and is offering a cash reward that is coming personally from members of the governing body.
Cranbury Township Mayor Glenn Johnson and Committeemen James Taylor and Daniel Mulligan agreed to offer $300 to anyone who provides information leading to the apprehension of the people responsible for damaging property near North and South Main streets.
“This was something that we wanted to get on top of,” Johnson said about the vandalism. “So far, though, we have not gotten any tips.”
Vandals reportedly damaged the light fixture on top of the water fountain near Brainerd Lake and broke a window at David Wells Antiques on Halloween night in 2017. Last month, on Feb. 21, electrical sockets on the railing near the dam spillway were destroyed and a few days later on Feb. 28, a bench in front of the Cranbury Presbyterian Church was tipped over and a sign for the Cranbury Presbyterian Nursery School was damaged.
“I’ve been here since the fall of 2000 and we’ve really basically had none of the problems in terms of vandalism compared to other places,” Johnson said. “This stuff is now pretty new.”
He said offering the reward was a way to avoid a “double hit” on the taxpayers since “the taxpayers are going to have to pay to get [the damages] repaired.”
The vandalism has also renewed interest for adding video surveillance in some areas of the Township, the mayor said.
“It’s probably something we will do going forward,” he said, adding that the Township would like to get advice from other localities that use surveillance. “We had a hit-and-run last year. A middle school girl was crossing the street near the firehouse. Her dog was killed, and she was injured … but it got people thinking about ways we could have the evidence and find and convict someone.”
He said the police chief has checked with businesses to get a surveillance system “that would be a really good one,” would cost between $50,000 and $100,000. If a surveillance system were to happen, the cameras would “likely be more near the North Street and Plainsboro Road [intersection]. And if we did have a mishap again, there would be some possibility to catch the person on camera.”
Community members can email information they have that may help with finding the vandals to firstname.lastname@example.org. All information received is kept confidential.