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Woodbridge Man Arrested in 'Hugs For Brady' Jar Theft

The arrest comes as a direct result of a news story done by WABC Eyewitness News on Tuesday night

Michael Groze
Michael Groze

South Brunswick Police have made an arrest in the theft of money from a donation jar for kids with cancer.

The suspect, Michael Groze, 55, of Woodbridge, was arrested Thursday afternoon by detectives.

The arrest comes as a direct result of a news story done by WABC Eyewitness News on Tuesday night. The theft took place on March 23rd at the Jersey Diner on Route 130, police said.

The suspect stole the cash out of a Hugs for Brady Foundation donation container at the register. On Tuesday, detectives developed images of the suspect and police sent the images out in a news release.

Eyewitness News showed the still images along with video of the theft in their 11 pm newscast. Minutes after the story ran, several tipsters called police to identify the suspect as Michael Groze.

The investigation determined that Groze stole the money to pay a debt to a friend. Groze was charged with one count of theft. He was released on a summons pending his first court appearance, police said.

Chief Raymond Hayducka credited the assistance of Eyewitness News with solving the case.

“Our partnership with the media is critical in developing information. When Eyewitness News broadcasted the story, Mr. Groze had a million people looking at his image, and several called to identify him. I want to thank the citizens who called and Eyewitness News for helping us solve this case,” said Hayducka.


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