The vigilance of a Toms River resident who called police after seeing a motorist throw items out of a car window helped lead to the Jan. 12 arrests of a Brick woman and a township resident on St. Thomas Drive, Detective Sgt. James J. Smith Jr. said.
The caller, who lives in the Snug Harbor section of Toms River, wrote down the license plate number of the car and called Toms River police. The recovered items included a driver's license, credit cars and a passport that belonged to a woman who lives on St. Thomas Drive in Holiday City at Berkeley, Smith said.
Toms River police notified the woman, who was at work, and the Berkeley Township police department.
"They told her they had recovered some of her items," Smith said.
When the woman returned to her house, she discovered her home had been burglarized, he said.
Someone had entered the home through a rear sliding door and stolen jewelry, credit cards and a passport, Smith said.
Berkeley police then set up surveillance at a Brick Township home on Tennessee Avenue and stopped a car with the same registration the Toms River caller had reported.
They arrested Denise Scaltrito, 38, Brick, and Joseph Lopes, 42, who lives on St. Thomas Drive in Holiday City. Both were charged with burglary and theft. Scaltrito was released on a summons. Lopes was taken to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, Smith said.
Berkeley police also investigated two Dec. 28 burglaries in Holiday City - one on St. Thomas Drive and one on Lagos Court. Someone used a tool to break into the back door of the St. Thomas Drive home and stole jewelry and other items, Smith said.
Another burglary occurred the same day on Lagos Court, when someone kicked in the front door and stole $43, before the owner came out from another room and surprised the intruder, Smith said.
Arrested was Steven Cocuzza, 25, who lives at 417 St. Thomas Drive. He was charged with burglary and theft in connection with both Dec. 28 break-ins. He is lodged in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River on $50,000 bail, with no ten percent option, Smith said.
Additional charges are pending against Cocuzza, he said.
Smith urged residents to report any suspicious activity to police. Anyone with any more information should call Detective William Cullen at 732-341-6600.