SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police arrested a Trenton man Friday that they believe is responsible for stealing an estimated $1,000 in liquor from two South Brunswick stores in the past week.
Police said they were called to Viking Liquors in the South Brunswick Square Mall on Route 1 at 4:30 p.m. Friday after a man allegedly stole bottles of liquor and fled the store.
A resident and store patron, Al Nardi, witnessed the theft and began to chase the suspect, later identified as Dennis Jackson, 54, of Trenton.
Officer Mike Leung, who was patrolling about a block away, heard the call and proceeded to the store.
Police said as Leung arrived on the scene, he saw Nardi chasing Jackson in front of the former Stop&Shop.
Leung ordered Jackson, who was trying to conceal the stolen alcohol bottles in his pants, to stop, but Jackson continued to flee, police said.
Leung chased him through the parking lot, eventually capturing him.
Employees of the liquor store told police that they believe the same man had stolen from the store on two other occasions.
Jackson was charged with the South Brunswick thefts, including one at Liquor City on Route 1, between July 14-21, police said.
He is also believed to be a suspect in similar thefts in both East Windsor and Hamilton during the past month, police said.
Jackson was processed and released pending his first court appearance, police said.
South Brunswcik Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka credited citizen involvement and a quick police response with capturing the suspect.
“The suspect had targeted local business owners over the past week,” Hayducka said. “Officer Leung arrived in less than a minute after the call and clearly saw the suspect who was running away from Mr. Nardi. The team effort put an end to a series of crimes.”