Bipartisan Group Presents Legislation Increasing Penalties for Criminals and Requests U.S. Department of Justice to Assist with Interstate and International Crime Ring
For Immediate Release – May 3, 2022
MIDDLETOWN, NJ – In response to the ongoing auto thefts across Monmouth County, leaders from different levels of government held a press conference this morning outside the Middletown Township Police Department at the new Town Hall.
Mayor Tony Perry kicked off the press conference by stressing how public safety must continue to be the number one priority for leaders up and down the State of New Jersey. In recent months, car thieves have become more brazen and are now breaking into homes to find car keys, using weapons to steal cars, stealing cars in broad daylight, and attempting to steal vehicles with children in the car. “We need to work together to correct this issue and prevent crimes like this from happening in our neighborhoods.”
Monmouth County Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone also voiced his concerns and spoke about the need to support our law enforcement and enact stricter consequences for criminals.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden called on legislators to establish stiffer penalties for vehicle theft offenders and to hold the adults who are encouraging and using juveniles to commit these crimes more accountable.
This year, 158 vehicles have been stolen in Monmouth County, and there has been an increase of over 110 percent of high-end auto thefts, according to the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office.
“The tiered system, three strikes you’re out, should also apply to vehicle thefts,” said Sheriff Golden. There are offenders who are arrested multiple times only to be released right back onto the streets. Meanwhile, juveniles are being victimized by adults in these crime rings. “These individuals need to be held to a higher standard and sentenced accordingly.”
Erik Anderson, Mayor of the Borough of Shrewsbury, announced that the local officials present signed a letter to submit to the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey to request the Department of Justice’s intervention to help protect our communities. “As these crimes involve interstate and international activities, federal intervention is proper,” according to the letter.
During the press conference, Assemblymembers Vicky Flynn and Gerry Scharfenberger discussed new legislation that they will be posting to address bail reform and enhance penalties. There should be mandatory minimum sentences if individuals are engaging in car thefts and home invasions, and there needs to be legislation to address the impact on juveniles in this state, according to Assemblywoman Flynn. “There should be a mandatory minimum sentence for any adult who puts a juvenile down the wrong path in these vehicle auto theft crime rings.”
“This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue – this is a public safety issue,” stated Assemblywoman Flynn. “This is not a Monmouth County issue, but a statewide issue.”
Mayor Perry closed the press conference by expressing the need to revise our bail reform system and judiciary. “Our judiciary cannot continue to act like a Michelin star restaurant offering topnotch service to criminals who are committing these crimes,” said Mayor Perry. “We cannot continue to sit here and defend criminals for criminal acts.”