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Toms River Man Arrested in Home Invasion Robbery

Victims chased down robber, police say

Mario Ortiz (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
Mario Ortiz (Photo: Ocean County Jail)
A Toms River man is behind bars Monday, accused in the home invasion robbery of a township couple.

The home invasion occurred at about 9 p.m. Sunday night, police spokesman Ralph Stocco said. A 32-year-old male and a 31-year-old female told police that they were inside of their 2nd Bayway home when they heard a banging at the front door. A few seconds later, an intruder, identified as Mario J. Ortiz, 39 of Waters Edge Drive, was inside of their home brandishing a handgun, Stocco said.

The couple handed over $60 in cash after Ortiz pointed the gun at the pair, Stocco said, at which point Ortiz fled from the home.

The female victim gave chase on foot while the male victim trailed the suspect with his vehicle, Stocco said. As Ortiz fled he was shedding his ski mask, gloves, and clothing as he tried, unsuccessfully, to escape through several fenced in yards. 

A magazine to the gun was located in a front yard and the handgun was tossed into a second yard by Ortiz, according to Stocco.

As the victims chased him down they were yelling at neighbors to call the police.  Minutes later, the two victims caught up to him near the Cosmic Surf Shop on Route 37 East just as the officers arrived. 

Ortiz was arrested and charged with home invasion robbery, burglary, possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes. He is being held in the Ocean County Jail on $150,000 bail.
Bella April 29, 2014 at 10:13 PM
I heard the guy just went there to get exactly $60 that the victim allegedly owed a family member. The gun was a toy and the house wasn't invaded. He knocked on the door. If the people were so scared they wouldn't have chased him down. fishy fishy fishy Two sides to every story is what I say!!
grace April 30, 2014 at 09:29 AM
@ bella ya know thats something to think about. papers like sensationalism. so maybe he knew them and was there to get that 60. something doesnt add up cause why did he just randomnly pick that house..hmmm
Kfh774 April 30, 2014 at 03:34 PM
Wasn't he wearing a ski mask. I always look out my window before I open the door. If I saw someone at my door that had a ski mask on I would call police right away and not answer the door
Juliana Brady May 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM
There some guy banging on my front door about 3 weeks ago. It was 9:00 at night. Just when I thought he had left, he came around to my side door and started banging again. Whoever he was he should be thanking his lucky stars. I would have loved to get some target practice in if he entered.

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