Police warn of booby-trapped roads

July 14, 2009 3:39:41 PM PDT
Police in Buena Vista Township , New Jersey are trying to track down the vandals who are booby-trapping several roads.It's happening mainly on Tuckahoe Road and Millville Avenue.

Pieces of sharp metal are being put in the middle of the highway, just waiting to cause major damage to the vehicles that go over them.

It happened to Benny Andreoli, a Vineland plumber who had the oil pan of his Ford Expedition punctured last month.

"There was something in the road, I thought it was like a metal chair. I tried to avoid it... I couldn't have hit it any better," Andreoli said.

Benny's fiancee, Janin Regalbuto, says it was frightening.

"A bus was coming at us and it was swerving into our lane to avoid what was in the road," Regalbuto said.

Since October there have been several incidents like that, late at night, damaging a dozen vehicles. On one night nine of the wire objects were strewn across the road.

As State Police demonstrated, rolling over the bent metal propels its sharp prongs into the undercarriage of a car--causing big repair bills and serious danger.

"It's not an accident, it's being done on purpose and it's being done either for their amusement or to cause damage," said Det. Fran McGovern.

So far no one's been injured.

Tuckahoe Road in Buena Vista is also known as Route 557. It's a popular backroad to the shore and police are warning drivers to be careful.

"If you're travelling approximately 50 miles per hour that time of night, you're going to be on one of these before you know it, especially if you're on a motorcycle. You've got potential for serious injury there," said Lt. Joseph Shanahan of the NJ State Police.

Police believe these wire booby traps are stolen real estate and road signs. They say they've got good leads and a reward is available for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.