*** Illegal Trespassing – Off Road Enforcement Details Begin Tomorrow, July 7, 2018 ***
Illegal Trespassing – Off-Road Enforcement Details – Beginning tomorrow, July 7, 2018, the Lacey Township Police Department will be coordinating off-road enforcement details, working with various law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to the New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Law Enforcement, Ocean Township Police Department (Waretown) and the Barnegat Township Police Department. The purpose of these details is to reduce/prevent the influx of persons in off-road vehicles (ATVs, dirt-bikes, etc.) trespassing on private property and protected conservation lands in the wooded areas west of the Garden State Parkway in Lacey Township, Ocean Township, and Barnegat Township, and to reduce serious injuries from crashes (motor vehicle, ATV, etc) and offenses that have been occurring over the last few years. The wooded area of concern covers over 60 square-miles. In recent years, a main entry point has been immediately off the Garden State Parkway in Lacey Township, so the New Jersey State Police have once again been requested for assistance.
The details will begin this weekend and continue through October 2018. The issue of off-road vehicles in the wooded areas is not a simple matter of just trespassing, as it has been a significant public safety concern with some serious criminal offenses occurring in the woods. During the summer of 2016, the off-road task force arrested several persons in the woods for violating laws, including an adult male subject who was found to be in possession of an assault rifle, a Walther P38 9mm handgun, eight 30-round high-capacity magazines, and one 100-round drum magazine, and various forms of ammunition. Several other arrests were made for offenses including but not limited to Underage Consumption of Alcohol and Eluding. In addition, there have been serious off-road motor vehicle crashes in the woods, including an incident in 2016 involving a 20-year-old male who suffered a broken neck as a passenger in a truck that flipped over while the group was trespassing on private property. The driver of this vehicle was arrested for DUI.
With the warm weather and the significant forest fire concerns, the Lacey Township Police Department is working to quell the anticipated influx of large groups trespassing, who bring trailers full of dirt bikes and ATVs and stage along the powerlines and other areas throughout the western part of Lacey Township, Ocean Township and Barnegat Township. The trespassing and violations of the ATV laws tend to grow significantly at times due to online forums, websites, etc., which, from time to time, profile Lacey Township as a place to ride. Much of the 60 square miles west of the Garden State Parkway is private property which means the individual ATV operator would need to have in his or her possession written permission from the specific property owner to ride on the property.
A 2018 federal grant provided to Lacey Township will be utilized toward the cost of these off-road enforcement details.
The off-road enforcement details will begin tomorrow and will continue into the Fall. Thank you,
-Chief Michael C. DiBella