🚨 Crime stats show an increase in high-end car thefts and home invasions

🚨 Middlesex County mayors want bail reform and the juvenile system changes

🚨 Middletown Mayor Tony Perry said he has wanted change for years

As numbers released by the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office make the case that an increase in home break-ins correlates with a spike in high-end car thefts, another  mayor is calling for reform.

Middletown Mayor Tony Perry told New Jersey 101.5 it's a battle he's been fighting for three years.

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High end car thefts, home burglaries in Monmouth County
High end car thefts, home burglaries in Monmouth County (Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office/Canva)

Perry: Legislators live in fantasy land

"I've been screaming at the top of my lungs for the state to provide the resources necessary for municipalities to deal with this. This is an epidemic that is occurring statewide. This is not unique to any certain sections of our state. And unfortunately, those calls have gone on deaf ears," Perry said. "And those calls have gone to the governor, those calls have gone to our state legislature to do something about this issue that is impacting people's daily lives in my town and in towns across the state of New Jersey."

The Republican said that so far the legislators will not accept responsibility for rejecting a system in which judges and prosecutors are empowered and police are respected for the jobs they do. He is concerned it will take a tragedy for change to the juvenile system to even be considered.

"Unfortunately it seems like the only thing that is going to get their attention is when someone dies because of one of these home invasions or someone gets injured is when Trenton will finally wake up and accept the reality for what we've been telling them," Perry said.

Democratic mayor also calls for change

After an Edison merchant's son fought off three carjackers in their family food market's parking, Democratic Mayor Sam Joshi called on lawmakers to increase criminal penalties and toughen "accountability" for juveniles who are convicted of serious crimes such as home invasion, robbery, and auto theft.

Perry said he would like nothing more than for both sides to come together and make changes to bail reform that was put into place during the Christie administration to stop juveniles from being "recycled" repeatedly through the system. He is not hopeful of that happening until politicians move out of the "fantasy land" where they currently reside, including Gov. Phil Murphy whose home is in Middletown.

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Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden speaks during a press conference in Middletown about automobile thefts.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden speaks during a press conference in Middletown about automobile thefts in 2023 (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

Despite 24/7 protection by State Police, there was an attempted break-in of a vehicle from a garage across the street, according to the mayor.

"These criminals thought nothing of the fact that there are state troopers directly across the street. That is the reality that we have to accept as elected officials and say, 'huh, something must be wrong.'"

Perry said that while he applauds the work of Santiago and Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, it will ultimately take the Legislature to get something done.

"Because municipalities, those prosecutors, those judges, their hands are tied so tight by the Administrative Office of the Courts, that unless Trenton start sending a directive and unless leaders start indicating their willingness to ease up on those reins, you are going to continue to have these problems," Perry said.

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