Monday, March 4, 2024

Park Rangers Seek Help Nabbing Car Break-in Suspect

Rangers at the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area are looking for a suspect in connection with a series of vehicle burglaries. And they have a photo.

Park rangers have identified a white male, age 25-35 with dark hair. A photo of a man allegedly using credit cards linked to the break-ins was released late last week. Park Service rangers said the image was captured at a Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, retail store.

Suspect in break-in identity sought by park rangers.

A number of vehicles parked at trailheads and parking lots of the recreation area have been broken into during August, taking purses and wallets that included cash and credit cards. Tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of purchases were made with the stolen cards, the Park Service said.

“It is never a good idea to leave valuables in your vehicle, especially in plain sight, when visiting the park,” said Chief Ranger Eric Lisnik. He recommended that visitors to the park store valuables in the trunk or out of sight. Even better, he said, visitors should take their valuables with them or simply leave them at home.

“Unfortunately, not everyone who visits the park has the best intentions in mind and many of these break-ins have been crimes of opportunity where valuables have been left in plain sight in vehicles with only a glass window to protect them,” Lisnik said. “While rangers investigate these recent incidents, we want to warn visitors against making themselves easy targets for criminals while visiting the park.”

Anyone with information about the incidents can call or text the Park Service at 888-653-0009. You don’t have to leave your name, they said.

In 2020 just over 4 million people visited the recreation area, which straddles the Delaware River in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.