Pair Charged in Copper Pipe Theft from Sandy Victim's Home
First incident of theft involving a Sandy victim, police said
Toms River police on Sunday made the first arrests for theft from a Hurricane Sandy victim's home on the township's barrier island section, Chief of Police Michael Mastronardy said.
Two suspects, Maximo Panolaya Castillo, 25, and Israel Garcia, 24, both of Perth Amboy, were charged with burglary and theft after they allegedly stole copper pipe from a home in the area of 2nd Avenue, Mastronardy said.
"Officers discovered they entered a vacant damaged home and removed 30 feet of copper pipe worth about $200," Mastronardy said.
A contractor working in the area advised police of the two suspicious males at about 1 p.m. Sunday.
"The witness stated he became suspicious as to what they were doing under the residence and they quickly fled when he went to approach them," Mastronardy said.
Officers Thomas Grosse and Thomas Herbst located the two men near the beachfront as they took a smoke break, according to the chief.
Panolaya and Garcia are being held in jail on $15,000 bail with no 10 percent option. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been advised by police that the men allegedly are illegal aliens, Mastronardy said.