Dustin Friedland, 30, and his wife had just finished Christmas/Holiday shopping at the upscale Short Hills Mall on Dec. 16th when they were approached by two armed thugs. Mrs. Friedland had just gotten into their luxury 2012 Land Rover (worth at least $70,000) filled with packages.
Friedland had just let his wife into the SUV and was walking around to the driver’s side when two crooks ambushed him and demanded his keys, a source close to the investigation told the New York Daily News.
The Hoboken attorney resisted — and in the struggle four shots were fired, one of which mortally wounded Friedland, police said. His Range Rover was found Monday in the back of an abandoned Newark house, police added.
Relatives described the 30-year-old Friedland as a sensible man who would have avoided violence if at all possible. The victim wasn’t protecting his luxury SUV, says a source close to the investigation — but his wife , already in the car. One thug had come close to her and ordered her out, but ‘she got a look at him,’ says the source.
The crime occurred at 9 p.m. at night in a mall parking garage. Most sensible shoppers know better than to go to a mall after dark, at least here in New Jersey. The Friedlands must have figured since they were together and Mr. Friedland was a guy that thieves wouldn’t bother them. Nothing bothers a thug when he’s carrying a gun.
It’s unfortunate to note that if Mrs. Friedland had just gotten out of the car, the thugs would have hopped in and driven away. Mrs. Friendland, it would seem, was standing her ground. Only there’s no standing your ground unless you have an “a great equalizer” to back you up. When she wouldn’t get out and Mr. Friedland challenged them, they simply shot him. She certainly got out of the car then and the thieves drove away.
The luxury SUV (the Land Rover is the official SUV of Queen Elizabeth II and her royal family) was found abandoned behind a house in Newark. Naturally. The Land Rover is very popular among the well-heeled. Essex and Bergen Counties are not known for their wilderness areas, unless you count the Meadowlands. The LR might be good for crossing the barriers on the approach to the George Washington Bridge when you find you’re in the upper level “Express” lane, hemmed in by tractor-trailer trucks which can only use the upper level of the bridge. Mondays and Tuesdays are murder on the GWB approach; that’s when the trucks make their deliveries to the City and Long Island and there’s no escape route, no crossover in the island to the local lanes. That’s when a Land Rover comes in mighty handy.
Despite what their relatives say, the Friedlands probably were protecting their property. The problem was, they were unarmed and without weapons, you might as well give up. That’s what the State of New Jersey wants us to do – surrender to the redistribution of wealth. Had he been armed, and via an open carry law where the weapon would be visible, this tragedy might not have occurred. The only other recourse was for the Friedlands to throw their hands up in the air and surrender. Let the thugs redistribute your wealth; it’s just stuff that insurance will pay for.
That’s what attorney Friedland would have advised any client. He stood up for what is right. But unarmed, he paid the ultimate price for his expensive car and the expensive items it no doubt contained. His relatives don’t want the Media and the world to take the opportunity to tisk at Friedland’s obvious “materialism.”
Too bad the world has to be that way. He earned his money and had the right to drive whatever car he pleased without having to apologize for it or pay for the car with his life. Short Hills Mall can add all the security they can muster; parking garages are notorious hunting grounds for thieves. Because any parking garage level is divided into such small, isolated spaces, filled with walls, columns and barriers, the chances of being seen or heard are remote. There simply isn’t enough pedestrian traffic to deter a crime. The shortened space between the elevator and a customer’s car is meant to help the package-burdened shopper, but it also assists the thieves looking for a quick hit and getaway.
Darkness aids the thug outside and isolation aids the thief inside.
Working class people haven’t much choice around Christmas time but to shop at night. If memory serves, there’s not much in the way of outside parking at Short Hills Mall. Since you cannot carry weapons, carry something loud. If you’re in the car, set off your car horn. If you haven’t reached the car yet, take a good look around the garage before you set out for the vehicle. The moment you use the remote, you alert the thieves to their target (the horn beeps and the lights flash). Always have your cell phone (and its camera) at the ready to call for help.
And unless your Superman and can stop a speeding bullet with your bare hands, don’t try to be a hero. I hate that advice, but that’s the reality here in anti-gun New Jersey, where criminals can carry but law-abiding citizens can’t. If you’re really fed up with the surging wave of car-jackings, be a hero and put those other crooks, the ones in the statehouse, out of work and install politicians who want to protect you, not the criminals, into office.
Vermont has open-carry and very little crime. New Jersey should ask Santa for open-carry laws for Christmas. Our lives and our property depend upon it, because we certainly can’t depend upon our current Socialist government.