Former New Brunswick police director’s firearm was stolen in 2013

Former NBPD Director Joseph Catanese Refused to Say What Property Was Stolen From His Car, But His Boss TK Shamy Investigated and Revealed it Was a Firearm

Joe Catanese

Joe Catanese was the victim of a “larceny” according to a 2013 police report. His boss admitted on Friday that it was a gun. (Photo credit: Charlie Kratovil)

NEW BRUNSWICK —Joseph Catanese, a former New Brunswick Police Director who is now a City Hall attorney, once left a loaded firearm in the glove box of his vehicle, and parked in a public garage for six hours, only to return and find the deadly weapon had been stolen, according to multiple sources.

“Yeah that was when his gun was stolen from his car,” said one law enforcement source familiar with the matter. “I believe it was in the glove box not correctly stored as the statute reads.”

The incident occurred on June 2, 2013, but it is now the subject of a Law Department investigation. About one month later, Catanese refused to say what was stolen from him during a phone interview.

“I have no comment to you,” said the ex-Director, reached at his office at the Shamy & Shamy law firm in July 2013. “I was the victim of a crime and it’s something that is personal and not something that I’m going to comment on to you or to anyone.”

Thanks to a 1997 law that allows retired police officers to carry firearms in the state, Catanese is one of a handful of city residents who can still carry a concealed firearm while he works his private job and goes about his private life.

“The retired law enforcement officer permit to carry a handgun law was enacted to help make our streets and communities safer,” reads NJ State Police (NJSP) website, which stresses that retired officers should use the “same professionalism and good judgment demanded during their law-enforcement careers.”

If it’s true that the gun was left loaded and in the glove box of Catanese’s car, regardless of whether or not it was locked in there, Catanese would appear to have run afoul of New Jersey law.

According to the NJSP webpage on transporting firearms, “all firearms…shall be carried unloaded and contained in a closed and fastened case, gunbox, securely tied package, or locked in the trunk of the automobile in which it is being transported, and in the course of travel, shall include only such deviations as are reasonably necessary under the circumstances.”

“The firearm should not be directly accessible from the passenger compartment of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a compartment separate from the passenger compartment, the firearm and ammunition must be in a locked container other than the vehicle’s glove compartment or console.”

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