MANAHAWKIN POLICE REPORT: Two Men Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Copper
Two others arrested on drug possession
Two Manahawkin men were arrested yesterday for allegedly trying to steal copper from air conditioning units at the Southern Ocean Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
Police said they arrested John Sprague, 24, and Bryan Johnson, 24, and charged them with two counts of burglary and theft related to the copper.
At 7:10 p.m., police said they responded to a call of two men at the parking lot of the Southern Ocean Rehabilitation Center, located at 1361 Route 72 West, whom police said appeared to be stripping copper from old units at the center. The men fled the scene in a black Honda Civic prior to police arrival.
Shortly thereafter, however, police recieved another call of two men appearing to take an air conditioning unit from a vacant residence on Forecastle Avenue, not far from the rehabilitation center.
Police saw the vehicle on Breakers Drive, and then observed the men drive the Honda back into the rehabilitation center. Police said Johnson was arrested at that time, but Sprague fled the scene into a wooded area west of the rehabilitation center. A man matching Sprague's description allegedly took a cel phone from two youths in the wooded area, and it was the report of that theft, along with a canine search, that led to Sprague's arrest.
Sprague was charged with two counts of burglary and theft related to the thefts of the copper, burglary and theft related to the phone and resisting arrest. Bail was set at $50,000 with no 10% option.
Johnson was charged with two counts of burglary and theft related to the thefts of the copper with bail set at $5,000 with no 10% option.
Both subjects were lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of bail.
Sergeant James Vaughn was the arresting officer and was assisted by Patrolmen Daniel Samaritano, Russell Dunfee, Joseph Mrazek, James Cahill along with Christopher Smith and his K9 partner Ollie.
Also, on Saturday, Stafford police arrested two Manahawkin youths for marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession.
Police said they observed a car, driven by Matthew J. Petronick, 18, and a 16-year-old passenger on the undeveloped and heavlily wooded Mallard Road in the Ocean Acres section of Stafford Township.
Investigation revealed that both people were smoking marijuana inside the vehicle, and they were then charged with possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. They are pending future court dates.
Ptl. Steven Fessler was the arresting officer.