Toms River Police arrested three teens on charges of arson and vehicle theft, after two separate incidents found stolen vehicles lit ablaze and abandoned in the woods.
Toms River Detective James Magovern arrested Armere Caruso, 18, of Dolly Road, and Daniel Sanchez, 19, of Coolidge Avenue in Toms River and charged them with two counts each of vehicle theft and aggravated arson. Both are lodged in Ocean County Jail on $50,000, no 10 percent option. Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said a third individual, a 15 year old juvenile, was also charged with one count of vehicle theft and arson.
Mastronardy said a 2007 Honda was stolen from a Nevada Drive home's driveway on Dec. 30 and found in the woods across from the fields on Windsor Avenue.
"Investigation found that the keys were removed from the unlocked car two weeks prior to the theft and that the suspects came back and then stole the vehicle and attempted to set in on fire when it became stuck in the woods," said Mastronardy.
A second was reported last weekend, when responded to a fire in Brown's Woods, on Washington Street, Mastronardy said.
A 2010 Ford Flex was found ablaze on the Brown Property early Friday morning after police and Toms River firefighters were called to a brush fire there, police said.
The vehicle, which was reportedly left unlocked, was stolen from a Hazelwood Road residence and then driven to the Brown Property, where it was set on fire and completely destroyed.
Police said that in the separate incidents, which were about two weeks apart, the teens allegedly stole the two vehicles and drove them to the secluded locations. While the East Dover woods incident was contained to the vehicle, the Brown's Woods one escalated to a brush fire.
Mastronardy said the arrests were made Tuesday.