Cinnaminson Man Stabbed During Drug Deal, Police Say

The accused, a minor, also stole the victim's money and cell phone.

A 20-year-old Cinnaminson man was stabbed in the chest after a drug deal gone awry Sunday night at Cinnaminson Harbour, said.

Derek Thomas, of Middlesex Drive, met with a local teenager in the playground area of the Harbour shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday, police said, for an apparent controlled dangerous substance transaction. 

The suspect then stabbed Thomas, took the drugs and Thomas' money, wallet and cell phone and fled the scene.

Police arrived when they received a call that a suspicious person was knocking on doors asking for help.  

Police identified the suspect as a 17-year-old male from the area. Officers executed a search warrant at a nearby residence and arrested him.

At the scene, police found items of evidence. The teenager was charged with robbery, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon and theft.

The accused was sent to a juvenile detention center. No other information is being released because he is a minor. Thomas' condition is unknown at this time.

This is the second stabbing to take place in Cinnaminson in the last five days. On June 27, a for stabbing a Pennsauken woman outside the Cinnaminson Wawa parking lot.

JS July 03, 2012 at 01:41 PM
You are so right, Deborah! Not a lot has changed since I moved here in 1965. There were drugs back in the 70's to "Heroin High" in the 90's right up till now. There were tons of burglaries/breaking-and-entering when I was growing up and I knew (not friends with, mind you) most of the kids doing it. So to say there was no crime in Cinnaminson 12 years ago is completely incorrect (in any community for that matter). That being said, it doesn't mean something can't be done about it. It needs to be controlled one way or another, and those people living in Cinnaminson Harbor who want to get together - bravo to you! Way to be proactive and not apathetic!
Ric July 03, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Well said, bravo. I graduated from CHS in the '70's. On our class trip to Wash. D.C., 12 of the 100 students were caught with grass in a floor raid. (The count would have been higher if students had not been able to flush their stashes). I recall that in the '90's the NY Times wrote about our high school heroin problem. It amazes me when newbies like Nancy carry on about Cinnaminson is going to hell in a hand basket every time a crime occurs in our town. Every town, even Moorestown and Cherry Hill suffer crime. Cinnaminson is a nice town and has not changed that much in fifty years. There are many ways our town has failed to improve with the times and I am certainly an advocate for improving Cinnaminson. All in all I rather live in Cinnaminson than in many of the area towns.
Nancy VanTwistern July 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Well, when we bought this house I wondered why there were so many 'safey features' on doors, windows, extra coverings on the door insides etc. etc.....now I know being informed by so many posters who have lived here a long time. It's a shame when you have to go around checking the windows/doors etc. to make sure the are locked securely each night or before you leave the house. Guess it's that way in many towns/cities now.....crime seems to be rampant all over....the economy??? Guess not from what many posters say...as in the past we've had some really good economic times (along with the bad). AND person who keeps knocking my posts........that's all he/she seems to do...never saying anything substantial............
Ric July 03, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Funny, I use the same type locks that my house was built with in 1965. I have never felt the need for a nightly security check or to upgrade my locks or add a security system. Maybe living close to Moorestown means my neighborhood is much safer that yours. Either that or I am not paranoid. Maybe you should consider living in a gated community far out in the country - be careful where you choose. Speed abuse is ravaging many of the small towns.
Sarah July 03, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Wow Nancy just when I think you've hit rock bottom you sink lower. My neice is one of those "certain elements" thats benefited from the low-income housing offered at the Camelot apartments. And thank God for it. It allows her and her son to live in a nice, clean, affordable community where she can be close to her family. Her husband was taken from her serving our country and she was really struggling before this opportunity came along. Maybe consider that not everyone that fits into your narrow little view of what low-income families consist of. Way to be judgemental.
Deborah Stevens July 03, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I feel sorry for you Nancy, that you have such a fear of living in this town. It sounds like you have made your own home a prison. I am one of those people who don't have alot of money, moved back after a divorce and raised 2 wonderful men, in this what you think is a scarey place to live. Like I said before negativity breeds negativity. I am not knocking your posts, just letting you know you come across as a very negative person...try thinking of some of the good kids and adults in this town and more of the positive. I do not have rose colored glasses on either, I know there are problems but just complaining about them will not resolve anything. Maybe you should get involved in helping a youth organization in town and you will get a different perspective. I have coached Cinnaminson PAL soccer and have met many wonderful kids from this town...and granted sometimes they get in trouble but kids will sometimes do that. And for goodness sake stopping watching the news which is 98% negative and they only show a 2% positive.
Nancy VanTwistern July 03, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah...get off your soap box........did I bash single parents or those needing financial help? NO NO NO..........But when you pay out lots of money for a home/condo or whatever you expect a safe haven. AND, for you and that Ric... I said that 'when we bought this house it was equiped with all kinds of safety features already. We were also told by a long time resident (owner of the long gone Hillers, not to leave my windows open at night as she never did). Therefore we already knew of some criminal action in Cinnaminson. Never in my post do I sound desperate or afraid........just cautious as many of my neighbors are. Thankfully, in my area we share and look after each other in many ways. I'm also sure this is evident in many areas of Cinnaminson as well as other nearby towns. Lets be honest here and reasonable............our world has changed greatly as our population increases all over the world......our economy is bad...........many jobless. Instead of bashing those who post reasonably perhaps some should get 'a chip off' and take posts as they are meant instead of criticism of themselves and theirs.
leb July 03, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I think we need to talk about getting motion lights back there. I'm not happy that this happened in my backyard, but we need to be proactive and make the playground a place where shady people won't want to hang out. Anyone know when the next neighborhood meeting is? I know the last one got cancelled...
Jerry July 03, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Deborah, this the most educated post I've read concerning the crime/drug use in our community. I also get that Nancy has a fear of living here, I have been reading her posts for 16 months, since I became aware of Patch. She doesn't ever refer to crime or drug use having had an effect on her personally, so I don't know why she would have such a "get 'em all and throw away the key" response to every criminal item that is released by the P.D. It may be that she is just having an immediate reaction to the "news of the day". I have lived here since 1964, graduated from CHS and have 6 brothers and sisters who were also raised here. We are all grown now, with our own children, and are beyond the 55 + era. We were also surrounded by drug use, I was offered heroin by an older brothers' "friend" (also from Cinna) in my late teens. Aside from pot, cocaine and speed were also very prevalent here, during and after high school. Do we really think they haven't been here all along, in some form or another? I can think of two who died from heroin overdose and three more who passed after high school. Drug use and crime will always be part of our community and other communities, as others have stated.
Jerry July 03, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Think back to about two years ago when we had no patch, we had to rely on the Burlington County Times for our news. Also keep in mind that the police are very selective in what they release as news, you are not getting the whole story, ever. I live near Branch and Forklanding.....and I never lock my doors, except for vacation. Thanks for your refreshingly positive post and also for your service to our youth!
ALP July 03, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Thank you, leb, for getting this conversation back on the right track. This discussion should be for those IN the neighborhood of the incident that want to get together and DO SOMETHING about it....not for debate about crime through the decades and who's house has locks. Come on people. I was walking my dog past THAT park at 9:30 THAT night...I want to hear from ppl who want to join together to raise hell about this! And the first order of business is definitely getting lights out there
Deborah Stevens July 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
seems to be the problem in many places with many youths...too many people, too many parents working because they have to....too many single parents....too many illegals....don't know what is the answer. This is from your post on Monday. This is a back handed comment that as a single parent I take exception to. You make it sounds as though these people, are the problem. I wish you could talk to some of the kids I know, some with gay parents, some with single moms or dads, maybe some are illegal, all I know is we should help our youth and give them positive feedback, not tell them how bad they are all the time. Cinnaminson is a great town, and I am proud to have grown up here and raised my children here. I hope you find your shangra la Nancy...and I wish you well.
Deborah Stevens July 03, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Sorry Alp you are right, I got caught up.......
ALP July 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
No need for apologies...we just need to focus on whats important and thats keeping the people safe in this community. I appreciate your respect for this town, though.
leb July 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I think we all need to relax. The guy was probably just selling pot, which happens everywhere. He just happened to sell it to an idiot with a knife who happens to live in our neighborhood. We just need some precautions to prevent people from thinking our neighborhood is a good place to practice illegal activities.
ALP July 03, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Deborah Stevens July 03, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I think you are right leb..
Get a Life July 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
For someone who backs up to the park Putting lights back there will blind those of us trying to sleep. What we need are signs stating the park closes at dusk. and then those of us who live there need to start calling the police everytime someone is back there. I know I have called the police on at least 3 occasions when kids were back there after dark. More people need to do the same thing.
leb July 03, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Agreed Roger, I back up to the park too. I had never seen anyone back there after dark before...it is usually people going down to the water that we have to call the cops on. I figured motion lights wouldn't bother us if we close our blinds. We need to figure something out. I guess putting up a sign would give us a reason to be allowed to call the cops because right now, there is no rule against being out there at night. We have such a nice neighborhood, it is a shame to let stupid people ruin it.
SB July 03, 2012 at 06:02 PM
I am a resident of the Harbour and walk my dog many times a day and in the late evenings. The landscaping is beautiful, however, it can be a haven for drug activity and other things to happen. The street lights are some nights and off other nights in different sections of the community. Nathan Drive towards the circle on one side of the road is so dark that a few weeks ago cars were broken into and things were stolen. The association(s) need to assist the people with the community with getting the proper lighting and the landscaping is overgrown in most sections blocking windows of homes. This can harbor any person doing wrong and running from the police. I agree that we all need to be more on the outlook and report things that are unusal. For most of us, it is our community in which many of us call home. Also, unrelated to the topic. For all you dog owners, please pick up the POOP!
Dan Reynolds July 04, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Let's face it. People who buy or sell drugs are not the smartest folks around. Buying and selling drugs has risks. Most people are smart enough to never get involved.. Most.. Better lighting, town patrols, quad rotor attack drones... May solve the issue... In one area... But like roaches dealers, buyers, and addicts will always find a dark corner to deal in.
Mcnurse July 04, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Neighbors: I moved to cinnaminson harbor recently bit is on the border of Riverton, not palmyra. I am the residence that this young man tried to break thru my door to seek refuge. He was hurt and requesting I let him in. Not sure if this was a ruse to harm me, I called 911 and assured him help was on the way. I did not feel safe. He wasn't cooperative with the officers and medics, and he was stabbed in the back and bleeding profusely. I am a nurse and want to caution people that without proper equipment and safety materials , the innocent helper can really endanger themselves. The fine medics and police have the know-how to get these victims/ perpetrators to where they need to be. Do not open your door, it could also be a ruse to hurt you. I was able to call 911 and the response time was within minutes. I'm extremely appreciative to the officers who responded , they were extremely professional and caring. On a side note, and to clear any rumors why my front door?? My neighbors have rumored that I had a party and someone got stabbed, I was awakened by the commotion at my door and do not know any of the parties involved, there was no party!!! I don't throw parties in this little townhouse. Ever.
Ric July 05, 2012 at 02:27 PM
McNurse, you did the right things by calling for help and assuring the victim. If you had let him inside your home, I fear the danger you would have placed yourself in. It is ironic he wanted to go inside your home but he would not cooperate with officers or medics. How would he have treated you inside your home? Or your family? As far as the old hens and roosters making rumors about you, remember it takes little brainpower to make up a rumor. Just read some of the stuff written under this story. It takes courage to act like you did. Thank you for having the courage to do the right things.
Former CH July 07, 2012 at 03:03 AM
I just moved out of Cinnaminson Harbour a few months ago, and I'm glad I did. I bought my townhome in 2008. While I lived there, I've witnessed the following: 1. peope tresspassing in the woods/river bank (nearly an everyday occurance) 2. people smoking pot in the woods 3. a drug bust involving a teenager in the woods 4. a police search for an armed robber who was hiding in the woods 5. a naked man (who was obviously on drugs or just plain psychotic) that stopped traffic at the enterence River Rd & Harbour Blvd - he jumped in front of my car on my way home from work one night! Now I hear about this crazy stabbing incident. I'm glad I'm out of there. A combination of low income housing and surplus rentals have resulted in this crap. It's people who just don't care about where they live because they don't own anything. For those who want to say, "oh, it's not the low income housing or rentals" - you know you are wrong. It is. Let's call it for what it is. It needs to stop. I feel sorry for residents who are still there that can't get that damn HOA do to anything for them and help keep them safe.
Patrn July 08, 2012 at 02:39 AM
I moved to Camalot apts 1 month ago and I am pretty happy here. I am a RN and pay regular rental fee and not a low income rental fee. From what I understand, it is a universal thing now with all apartment complexes to have low income mixed in . These apartments are beautiful inside, if well taken care of, as well as beautiful landscape around us.It is a shame that scattered light trash cant be put in the many dumpsters and recycle cans throughtout the complex.Sprinkler heads being messed with by young children and need to be repaired because of a parent not watching their young children.How about teaching your children how nice it is to live in a nice, well maintained place we should be calling home. Lets all be responsiblein keeping our homes beautiful and safe.I grew up in cinnaminson, and still have family here.Quite a few CHS grads stayed here or came back , such as I. I am very proud of this township!
JustALocalGuy July 11, 2012 at 06:33 PM
You people who keep trying to say this is because of low-income housing should be ashamed of yourselves. You are being asinine and judgmental. You don't know any of those people, why they are low-income, or what their morals are. I'm glad I don't know any of you bigots personally - you're not good enough to know.
JustALocalGuy July 11, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The bigotry displayed here is truly amazing.
JustALocalGuy July 11, 2012 at 06:50 PM
It's cute that you think low-income means "low-life morals". You are a despicable bigot. Enjoy living with that hate in your heart. Maybe you'll wake up one day.
JustALocalGuy July 11, 2012 at 06:52 PM
What, exactly, would a new "policy" at the Harbor accomplish? If the parties in question were willing to violate NJ criminal statutes at the felony level, what makes you think a policy (that would at worst result in a trespassing charge) would make any bit of difference in their behavior? This is the kind of knee-jerk policymaking idea that ends up causing unintended consequences and really just places worthless restrictions on the liberty of ordinary law-abiding people.
JustALocalGuy July 11, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Exactly. Get involved in your community if you care about it. Put together a neighborhood watch if you're worried about crime in your neighborhood. Complaining about it, threatening to move and expecting the police to fix everything is just silly. You want lower taxes, AND you want more police? It doesn't work that way.


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