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Citizen Helps Lead Police to Stolen Vehicle

Car found in Foodtown parking lot after citizen reports suspicious activity

Some suspicious behavior reported by a citizen helped lead police to discover a stolen vehicle and arrest two suspects, according to police.

Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said the alert citizen called police after noticing two suspicious people near the Foodtown on Route 37, 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Two men were wiping the handles out of a vehicle they were in, he said. The citizen called police headquarters and took some photos.

"The citizen observed the suspects wipe the door handles of a 2012 Kia after exited the vehicle," Mastronardy said in an email. "The citizen took photos with a cell phone and notified Communications who relayed the information to patrol officers."

Mastronardy said an investigation revealed the vehicle was stolen, and police arrived to the shopping plaza to locate the two men.

"Officer Louis Taranto located the suspects in the Toms River Shopping Center lot. Sergeant Ron Sermarini and Officer Vincent Pedalino assisted the investigation that quickly determined the vehicle was reported stolen out of Little Egg Harbor Township Saturday night," said the police chief.

The two men were arrested and charged with possession of stolen property.  Albert Depaolo, 27, of Ocean Gate and Justin Searlesyoung, 19, of Stafford Township were arrested, Mastronardy said.

Randal Graves August 15, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Surprised our stumbling, bumbling police force didn't discover that car themselves we all know how they love sitting in parking lots instead of doing their jobs
Debra Licato-Meiman August 15, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I have ignored criticisms of our police force before, but believe that a snarky comment rather than substantive cconcerns is counterproductive. Unlike Mr. Graves, I have had several opportunities to be impressed by police offficers and Chief Mastronardy (and no, I do not know any of them personally).
Scott August 15, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Two males acting "suspicious" together and "wiping down" the car. Sounds like they had some "alone time" together as well.
Martin August 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Criticize the mayor and council for not funding the police dept. enough so that it's significantly understaffed. Politicians must authorize more cops to control TR's crime. Aim your gripes to the do-nothings in elected office.
1stcav August 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Thank you, John Q. Public for your help in locking these two up..good job and fast thinking on your part ! Well done !
CHANGE_TR August 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I agree...I had my car stolen a few years back and I had to find it myself. The cops are worthless
Randal Graves August 15, 2012 at 03:18 PM
When they do something impressive I will praise them, Crime in this town is only on the rise, I can only comment about what I witness and when I'm on the road a lot I see cop cars sitting in vacant parking lots, Last time I saw a patrol car actually patrolling in my neighborhood was last spring. Needless to say in this general area there have been a good amount of burglary's since last spring. The Chief isn't to impressive either he couldn't even secure his own house from being broken in to how do you expect him to secure a town lol
CHANGE_TR August 15, 2012 at 03:39 PM
TRPD is a joke. The fact that some of you think we need to hire more is just scary. We have one of the largest forces in the state of NJ yet the majority of them can be seen sitting in empty parking lots or Wawa/711. The crime in this town is rising at a scary pace. I for one am not impressed and would like to see my taxes more intelligently spent
patch_reader August 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Exactly change. Go by 7 11 in the morning and you can find them spending an hour at a time there.
Matt August 15, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The township would just rather waste money on buying new patrol cars every year, and that's not just Toms River. Hire more officers, taxes go up. Buy more patrol cars, taxes go up. what a waste. The clowns running this town sure like to spend the taxpayers dime.
copperpot August 15, 2012 at 07:23 PM
You ever hear of the expression "call the cops?" That's how they become aware of things. You people leave the dumbest comments. The police force is great. We need more. And no, crime is not rising at a scary pace, there is more reporting on it. People need to stop complaining about everything and find some happiness in life.
Halpha2 August 15, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Nothing but a bunch of whining, premadonna b*tches post on the Patch. And yes I posted this before. If you have a better idea or want to make a change about how things work, apply for a position where you can. Furthermore it's liberals with their pamphlets and ignorant, uneducated opinions that make the job as a public servant very difficult these days. And the attorneys with their articulated cases which has opened the soors for
Halpha2 August 15, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Cont... opened the doors for lawsuits which is not worth a pension. Bottom line, if you have an issue, address it. Or find someone who can. Or kindly move to a place where thesr issues dont exist. Good luck. "Insert liberal counterpost below "®
A. Einstein August 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Um...YOUR posting on Patch. So b*tch, what up? How does whining make someone a 'liberal' $65K a year ain't bad for starting pay...more than I make. Maybe you should cut down on the caffeine. Jus' sayin...
Commenting August 16, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Halpha 2, get a life or go pick up trash and stop being a whiner yourself. What is open a soor?
CHANGE_TR August 16, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Numbers don't lie: The Toms River, NJ property crime rate is 39% greater than the New Jersey average Overall, the Toms River, NJ crime index is 31% greater than the New Jersey average
Concerned August 16, 2012 at 11:28 PM
I think all the over staffed over paid P.D. Should send each officer to do a week a year in Camden & Trenton. To sharpen there skills and understand what real cops are paid for. Pull over moms cause there computer told them that the registration expired is not what we want from them metermaids! .

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