On March 23, Glassboro Police released a timeline of events on Facebook concerning a string of recent burglaries and thefts. In one instance of these burglaries and thefts, local Rowan students were victims of these crimes.
The perpetrator of these incidents has been identified as Jorge L. Navaheredia, a 28-year-old male from Sicklerville, New Jersey.
Navaheredia was identified through surveillance cameras and closer investigation by the Glassboro PD. Navaheredia is not a Rowan student.
On Wednesday, March 9, at approximately 5:03 a.m., Glassboro Police received a call from a female resident that upon waking up, she found an unknown man in her bedroom. The call came from North Main Street.
The resident confronted the burglar before he fled from the residence. Later, the same man was found in the kitchen of her home by the resident herself. He once again fled the house.
Within the span of 45 minutes, Navaheredia was seen going in and out of the house several times.
The resident reported that money and personal items, such as shoes and other clothing, were stolen from the home.
Several days later, on March 19 at approximately 6:27 a.m., Glassboro Police received another call from another resident of Glassboro. The call came from Quincy Court, approximately two miles from the last location.
The caller was also female and had reported an unknown man in her house after hearing someone rumbling through her home. After that report, the victim came into contact with the burglar, who was standing in front of her bathroom door. Terrified, the victims locked themselves in a room, waiting for police to arrive, as the unknown man walked away. She reported to the police that she could still hear the man in her home as the victims waited for safety.
The two victims remained locked in their rooms as Glassboro Police entered the residence. Police found Navaheredia, hiding under the cabinet of the kitchen sink.
To ensure the safety of everyone, the police gave verbal commands for Navaheredia to surrender. Navaheredia complied and was detained by police, arrested in handcuffs, and sent to county jail.
After his arrest, the police found Navaheredia’s car parked outside the home of the victims. In his car police could see female undergarments and mail that belonged to the victims.
According to the Glassboro Police Department’s Facebook post about the incidents, “Mr. Navaheredia was charged with three counts of Burglary, Criminal Trespass, two counts of Theft and two counts of Harassment. The charges were placed on a warrant and Mr. Navaheredia was remanded to the Salem County Jail pending a detention hearing.”
On Tuesday, March 22, a Superior Court judge approved of a warrant in order to search Navaheredia’s car. Upon investigation, more undergarments belonging to females were found inside the car, along with additional personal items not specified by police.
On March 24, Michael Kantner, assistant vice president and part of the Department of Public Safety & Emergency Management, sent an email out to all students about the string of events.
According to the email sent by Kantner, “we ask all of our students to always be mindful of and responsive to suspicious sounds or activity. Call 911, as these students did, whenever you have concerns or feel unsafe.”
Joe Cardona is the vice president of university relations and Rowan’s spokesperson, who understands that the safety of Rowan students is a top priority.
“The challenge that we find is that students come to Rowan, that live elsewhere, and they think that they may be living in their own community. From a safety point of view, we always tell students that they have to pay attention to their surroundings,” Cardona said. “This incident was completely unavoidable. It’s not like they were inviting anybody in. We have no idea if he was scoping them out or how long his plan was or whether it was random. We have no idea of those things.”
Cardona advises students to stay aware.
“Always speak up when something seems a little out of the norm– even if it’s the slightest thing,” Cardona said.
This investigation is currently ongoing, as Glassboro Police mentioned in their Facebook post.
Contact Detective First Class Dante Laspata at 856-881-1501, ext. 88133, or Investigator Andrew Roberts at 856-881-1501, ext. 88180 to provide additional information in order to help police. Anonymous tips can be provided by texting “GLASSPD” and your tip to 847411 (Tip411).
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