Toms River police have made a several arrests in recent burglaries, many of them drug-related, Toms River Police Chief Michael G. Mastronardy said.
"The police department is working diligently with the neighbors in apprehending those that are involved with criminal activity," the chief said. "The department believes a spike in residential burglaries is a direct result of an epidemic with regards to abuse of heroin and prescription drugs in our state."
Glenn Kearney, 36, 112 Melville Avenue, was arrested on Sept. 20, after a resident called police about a suspicious male near his Silverton Road home. When the resident asked Kearney why he was in the area, Kearney told him he was looking for landscaping work, then left on a blue motorcycle. Three hours later, Patrolman Ryan Rush arrested Kearney on Old Freehold Road on a $500 outstanding warrant from Toms River and a $750 warrant from Lakewood.
Police recovered jewelry and a pry bar tool at the time of Kearney's arrest. He was later charged with attempted burglary of a Silverton Road home and the burglary of a Yorktowne Road home in Holiday City on Sept. 18. Kearney's total bail was set at $100,000, with no ten percent option.
Detectives also recovered evidence related to a June 15 burglary and another burglary in Holiday City. The investigation is continuing, Mastronardy said.
• Police arrested William T. Rome III, 32, 5 Northumberland Drive, Berkeley Township on Sept. 22 and charged him with burglary and theft of a home on Cypress Road earlier this week where more than $10,000 was removed from a safe. He was also charged with possession of narcotics. The investigation is continuing.
Patrolman Adam Koeppen stopped Rome in his silver Acura at the intersection of Route 37 and Mule Road after he became a suspect in two Toms River burglaries, Mastronardy said
• Detective Brian Lomer and Louis Santora also arrested Zep Padilla, 38, 34 Dupont Avenue, Seaside Heights, and charged him with the burglary of a Central Avenue home on Tuesday. Padilla is lodged in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River on $100,000 bail, with no ten percent option.
"The department is very grateful for the continuing support it receives from the public who provide information that assists the dedicated officers in protecting our residents," Mastronardy said.
The police department is down 10 officers this year, including two detectives. Another five detectives are slated to retire next year, he said.
"The department is proud of the teamwork between the Detective Bureau and Operations Bureau, who have been extremely busy working to make these and other arrests," Mastronardy said.