Middlesex County News

South Brunswick Police: Arrest Saves Liquor Store Burglar From Hypothermia

George Pesavage Credits: Police photo

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Getting arrested for breaking into a liquor store in the frigid temperatures early Friday morning may have been the best thing for a Flemington man, police said.

According to police, George Pesavage, 47, of Flemington, allegedly broke into Viking Liquors in the South Brunswick Square Mall on Route 1 around 1:45 a.m. Friday morning.

Police said that Pesavage smashed the glass front door of the store and took liquor, lottery tickets, cigarettes and a lighter.

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Police responded to the store when the alarm went off and searched the business, but the suspect was not inside.

The owner of the store went to the scene and showed officers security video of the break-in, showing Pesavage taking the about $650 worth of items from the store, police said.

About a half hour after responding to the burglary, Officer Mike Urstadt was patrolling the shopping plaza and saw Pesavage’s head from behind an eight-foot snow pile.

According to police, Urstadt approached Pesavage and discovered two bags at his feet containing the stolen items.

Police said that Pesavage had frostbitten hands, bleeding hands and his clothing was soaked from being in the snow pile for 45 minutes.

Pesavage told Urstadt he had walked to town from Princeton in the frigid weather before hiding in the snow pile.

Officers arrested Pesavage, charging him with the liquor store burglary and criminal mischief.

The Kendall Park First Aid Squad took Pesavage to Robert wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick for treatment of hypothermia and lacerations from the break-in.

He was then released to police to be processed on the charges, police said.

He is currently lodged at the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick awaiting a bail hearing, police said.

“The man was saved by being arrested. The freezing temperatures had already started to lower his body temperature when officers located him,” Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said. “The officers’ fast response and detailed search resulted in locating the stolen items and saving this man’s life.”

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