Edison Mayor Sam Joshi decries violent carjacking at Patel Brothers, calls for stricter laws for juvenile crimes  

Suspects in carjacking at Patel Brothers in Edison, NJ March 15, 2024. PHOTO: Instagram @MayorSamJoshi

The son of owners of the famous Indian American supermarket chain Patel Brothers, experienced a dangerous close call when he was attacked in a violent carjacking attempt in front of the store in Edison, NJ, March 15, 2024.

Numerous news reports including in Patch, nj.com, and other outlets reported the assault by three men on a man getting out of his SUV in front of Patel Brothers at 1681 Oak Tree Road.

Edison Township Mayor Sam Joshi, is quoted saying in a patch.com report that he found the incident “an appalling robbery and attempted carjacking in broad daylight.”

The Mayor went on to say that the incident has driven him to call for stricter penalties and more accountability in cases involving juveniles.

The attack took place around 5 pm. The victim tried fending off the three attackers and then rushed into the store. However, he had the car starting fob in his pocket, which prevented the attackers from being able to start the car. Meanwhile, the victim called the police on 911.

Those with any information that could help the investigation have been  urged to contact Detective Chris Paone of the Burglary Unit at 732-248-7413, the Patch.com report said.

In a statement posted also on Instagram Joshi said, “While it’s essential to maintain perspective, it’s imperative to address the escalating crime trends nationwide. I have consistently stood behind our police department and have taken proactive measures to bolster our force, resulting in a record-high of 189 officers, the most in over a decade. Additionally, we’ve strategically deployed over 80 license plate readers throughout Edison, enhancing our ability to deter criminal activity,” the Mayor said.

“However, the challenge persists due to inadequate state legislation and regulatory guidelines in New Jersey, which prioritize leniency towards offenders rather than justice for victims,” he added.

Joshi is also quoted saying in news reports that he was breaking ranks with his Democratic Party peers in calling for stricter criminal penalties for juveniles convicted of serious crimes, and that he is calling on Gov. Phil Murphy and the NJ legislature to enact tougher laws.

“The rise in juvenile crimes demands our urgent attention. While our great police department is doing all it can to catch those responsible for committing crimes, too often the offenders end up being released without consequences,” Joshi said.

Newjerseynews.com interviewed Patel Brothers owner Kaushik Patel, who is quoted saying, “My son fought with them and didn’t give up, didn’t give the key,” the father said, adding, “Bentley’s, Mercedes, BMW’s, Audi’s – they don’t go for cheap cars. A couple of days back, there was another car gone within 15 minutes. They are coming from Newark, a couple of them, police catch them. A few days later they are in and they are out.”

On Instagram, the Mayor posted a long message on steps already taken but which had not been adequate and state level steps were needed. Following is an extract from that post:

However, the challenge persists due to inadequate state legislation and regulatory guidelines in New Jersey, which prioritize leniency towards offenders rather than justice for victims.

It’s a well-known fact that home invasions, burglaries and auto thefts are on the rise throughout New Jersey. It’s time for those in leadership in New Jersey to stop turning their backs on certain victims. It’s time for them to do their jobs and serve justice to the victims rather than protecting the criminals who commit these heinous crimes.

The unfortunate reality is that juveniles from New Jersey as well as out-of-state are perpetrating crimes without facing proper consequences. I firmly advocate for treating individuals who commit serious offenses such as home invasions, burglaries, or carjacking’s to the extent possible as adults within our justice system. Moreover, jurisdictional accountability is crucial and offenders should be tried in the county where the crime occurred, rather than in their home counties where the victims are burdened and required to travel perhaps hours to face their assailants. It’s paramount that we rally behind our law enforcement agencies and enact necessary reforms promptly. I have already spoken to Governor Murphy, his senior staff, numerous state lawmakers and will be meeting with the Attorney General on Tuesday, March 19th calling for reform. Support law enforcement. Victims deserve justice.



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