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Homeowner Interrupts Singing Burglar

'Whistle while you work' takes on a whole new meaning in an attempted Iselin burglary.


At least he's happy in his work.

An Iselin resident stumbled across a burglar in her home Tuesday, but the man wasn't being stealthy about it. In fact, he was "humming and singing," reported, as he went about burglarizing the home around 5:20 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The woman was shocked to find the man in her Park Avenue home in . Police said the burglar ran out the side door when he saw the homeowner, who slammed the door shut and locked it, then ran upstairs to tell her father what had just happened.

The father looked at the window and saw the crook running down Elizabeth Avenue. He told police the burglar was apparently on a cell phone as he was making his escape.

The father got in his car to chase the thief as the daughter called police. Multiple police cars descended on the area but were unable to find the man.

Police describe the singing burglar as a black male, approximately 5 ft. 10 in. in height with a medium build, between 25 and 30 years old, and described as being healthy looking. He was wearing black shorts, a red shirt, and a navy blue cap with white writing on it.

Nothing was taken in the burglary, and police didn't find any fingerprints or footprints outside the home. The homeowner said the main door was open, and the storm door was only latched, not locked.

Anyone with any information can call at 732-634-7700.

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slyfox1961 September 06, 2012 at 11:25 AM
They say if you enjoy what you do for a living, you will never work a day in your life!
John Ulman September 06, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Can you shot the burglar in you home?
slyfox1961 September 06, 2012 at 11:01 PM
@John Ulman: no, in NJ you must first attempt to flee and call the police. The only way you can legally shoot someone in your home is if you reasonably fear for your life or your families lives. And be damned sure the perp is armed.
Gordo K September 07, 2012 at 08:30 AM
"described as being healthy looking" - hmmm, that will sure help narrow the search, won't it.
Al McDorman September 07, 2012 at 02:40 PM
You do NOT have to "flee" from a burglar but you can not use deadly force to stop a burglar. Aside from that, you should do what seems reasonable. If you are being attacked IN your own home, you do not have to back down but if you kill your assailant, be prepared to explain many times and be in and out of court after the police investigation.
slyfox1961 September 07, 2012 at 03:47 PM
@AlMcDorman: you are correct, you do not have to flee from the burglar. You are perfectly within your rights to sit and have some tea with him, if you choose to. I stand corrected. However, if you kill an un-armed person, YOU WILL be charged with murder or manslaughter. The fact that he was in your house has no bearing in a court of law. Tresspassing or burglary is not a legal reason for the use of deadly force. You are spreading misinformation on a critically important point. Look it up.
Tamara Winfrey September 07, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6- as long as slyfox isn't one of the 12.
slyfox1961 September 07, 2012 at 05:35 PM
@TamarasWinfrey: if the perp is capable of killing you, as you allude to in your comment "carried by six", then you are perfectly justified in the use of deadly force. I believe you are misinterpreting my statement. I am an NRA member and own many guns. I am merely pointing out the law. Doesn't mean I approve of it. I would prefer a law similar to Florida's "stand your ground law".
Tamara Winfrey September 07, 2012 at 05:45 PM
How am I supposed to know if the perp is able to kill me unless he does it? I will never understand the "wait and see" mentality of the self-defense laws up here.
Al McDorman September 07, 2012 at 06:51 PM
@slyfox1961: I believe you are misinterpreting my statement. You can legally shoot someone in your home if you reasonably fear for your life or your families lives. If you are being attacked in your own home, you do not have to back down. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Who breaks and enters in to somebody's home and then attacks them without a weapon? An unarmed burglar is going to flee and then you should call the police. "Police said the burglar ran out the side door when he saw the homeowner, who slammed the door shut and locked it," The critically important point is, you can not shoot somebody in defense of property in NJ, a point you failed to make. Saying, as you did, " in NJ you must first attempt to flee" from a burglar is not part of any law. The Iselin woman who found a man in her Park Ave home did not flee. She locked the door after he fled. Reread the article, then reread what I wrote about fleeing from a burglar, and then if you have any questions, look it up. Your answer will be under the NJSA 2C code. I hope YOUR burglar doesn't take your arsenal after YOU flee.
slyfox1961 September 08, 2012 at 03:01 AM
@AlMcDorman: you are reading WAY too far into what I said. Here is my initial statemetn word for word, which I still stand behind: "The only way you can legally shoot someone in your home is if you reasonably fear for your life or your families lives. And be damned sure the perp is armed." I think that says it all.
slyfox1961 September 08, 2012 at 03:08 AM
@TamaraWinfrey: how can you tel if the perp is armed unless he kills you? Really? Seriously? Self defense laws anywhere in the civilized world require one to be sure that the other is armed and actually endangering you before you respond with lethal force. To answer your question, SEEING a weapon would be one way. What kind of world would we live in if all one needed was suspician that someone was armed before gunning them down?
Can't shut me up September 08, 2012 at 04:48 AM
A dead perp can't testify. Shoot away. I'll take my chances with a jury.
SS12211 October 23, 2012 at 03:24 AM
There is no duty to retreat in NJ. Now I don't know if you're going to be okay shooting an unarmed man in the back...but you CAN confront an intruder in your home without having to try and escape first. 2. The Legislature finds and declares that: b. The "Castle Doctrine" is a long-standing American legal concept arising from English Common Law that provides that one's abode is a special area in which one enjoys certain protections and immunities, that one is not obligated to retreat before defending oneself against attack, and that one may do so without fear of prosecution. ALSO... 12 (b) The actor demanded that the intruder disarm, surrender or 13 withdraw, and the intruder refused to do so. So long story short, I'd confront the burglar with my .40 cal...if he surrenders or leaves, fine. If he attacks me, I'm permitted under the law to use deadly force. You do NOT have to leave your home and let someone rob you of everything you own while you wait for the police to arrive.

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