NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) is investigating an armed robbery that occurred in broad daylight on Handy Street the morning of December 17.
According to police radio transmissions, no one was injured and the suspect fled on a bicycle after showing a handgun and taking his victim’s cell phone at approximately 9:18am.
It is the latest in a string of violent crimes that city police have not publicized nor solved.
NBPD’s spokesperson declined to provide information on the incident until six days later, even though the state’s public records law says the department must make certain information available “within 24 hours or as soon as practicable.”
Had it not been for the public’s ability to listen to police radio transmissions, it’s unlikely the incident would have ever become public knowledge.
“Shortly after 9:00 am an adult male from New Brunswick was robbed of personal item(s) when he was approached by an unidentified male on a bicycle in the area Handy Street and Lee Avenue,” said Captain JT Miller on December 23, finally confirming the incident.
“The suspect displayed a firearm as he approached the victim and demanded money,” Miller said. “The suspect quickly fled on the bicycle towards Lee Avenue.”
According to the radio transmissions, the suspect was a “light-skinned individual” who fled on a black bicycle towards Throop Avenue.
One officer described the suspect as “a [white] male, six-foot [tall], black jacket,” adding, “Gun’s on the inside left pocket of the jacket.”
“That sounds like the same description of that guy from last week with the [robbery],” said another officer.
Miller characterized the investigation as “ongoing” but did not specifically ask for the public’s help in solving the crime.
As we reported, NBPD Director Anthony Caputo plans to take away the public’s access to hear police radio transmissions in the near future.
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.