UPDATE: NJ.com has reported that Linden Police located the woman and the van, and that NBPD arrived and ordered the woman be taken to a medical facility.
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–The owner of Park Deli Too convenience store says a regular customer came in on January 18, naked from the waist down, and stole a cargo van left idling outside, before crashing into another vehicle and leaving the scene.
According to police radio transmissions, witnesses said the woman was half-naked and bleeding from her mouth when she came into the store shortly after 3:30pm.
“Last seen wearing a white jacket with nothing else,” said a police dispatcher, describing the suspect.
A report by NJ.com’s Vernal Coleman indicated the woman was distraught, and the store owner told him she asked an employee for help find her missing baby before driving away in a van that was there to make a delivery.
The van, emblazoned with a depiction of the “VBlast” vitamin drink, was left running just outside the store.
With the distraught woman behind the wheel, the van struck a silver Honda Civic at the intersection before fleeing towards Ryders Lane.
According to police radio transmissions, the woman is an emotionally disturbed resident of the New Brunswick Apartments, located across from the Deli. Police confirmed there was no child missing.
Park Deli Too is located on Commercial Avenue near Neilsen Street, in the Rutgers Public Safety building, home to the school’s police department.
No crime alert was issued to members of the Rutgers University community despite the proximity to campus.
But it is New Brunswick police who are likely investigating this incident, according to Coleman’s reporting.
Store owner Manoj Patel told NJ.com that investigators located the van inside a Linden parking lot, and were able to get ahold of the woman’s boyfriend, who said she may be reacting to prescription medication.
The original Park Deli is located across the Raritan River in Highland Park.
Rutgers officials did not respond to a question asking why there was no crime alert for the incident.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.