NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Police won't say if they've recovered two vehicles that they allege were stolen by a homeless man during burglaries in late January and early February.
Kenneth McNeil, age 49, was arrested on the morning of February 4, two days after police sought the public's help finding their suspect in the cases.
The original statements made about the case did not identify the location of the burglaries, but New Brunswick Today followed up with requests for more information under the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA).
"In each incident, the suspect gained access to occupied homes and collected various items belonging to the residents," explained New Brunswick Police Department (NBPD) Captain JT Miller, adding that the suspect and residents did not encounter each other.
"When leaving the residence, the suspect obtained car keys found in the home and fled in the resident’s vehicle parked outside."
Miller responded to our OPRA request by saying that the first burglary occurred January 25 at a residence somewhere on Handy Street, and was followed by a February 2 burglary at a home on New York Avenue.
It wasn't until after the burglary on New York Avenue that the NBPD asked for the public's help in catching the culprit.
"The police investigation determined that the same suspect was involved in both incidents," said Miller, who noted that McNeil was picked up on the "100 block" of Seaman Street around 10:30am on February 4 and charged with two counts of burglary and "multiple theft offenses."
But, months later, Miller tells this newspaper that the case is still under investigation and has declined to say whether the stolen vehicles were ever recovered.
"These investigations are still ongoing, any further information is not available for release at this time," said Miller on April 4.
Miller said that the NBPD would like to thank everyone who called in and provided information regarding McNeil’s identity.
Anyone with information about the cases is asked to contact Detective Raymond Quick at (732) 745-5217.