Toms River Police said a man went on to commit more car burglaries in parking lots near police headquarters shortly after being released from jail. As police responded, the man fled, leading police on a man hunt through nearby woods.
The initial incident began with the arrest of Nicholas Moriarity, 22, of Hazelwood Road at a Wawa, Route 37 and Hooper Avenue, around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy. Police responded to a suspicious persons call, and investigated to find Moriarity allegedly had property stolen from vehicles.
Mastronardy said police found a wallet, GPS and cell phone believed stolen from vehicles at KS Fitness and a Parkcrest Drive car. Officer Ryan Rush responded and made the arrest. Moriarty was charged, processed at police headquarters on Oak Avenue, and released after posting bail.
At 1:30 p.m., police received a call of a suspicious person that had entered a vehicle on Oak Avenue in a parking lot of an office building not far from police headquarters, Mastronardy said.
Officer Jennifer Grob responded and saw a man hiding near Red Lobster, he said. Once the man was spotted, he removed his shirt and fled across the street to some woods.
"Officer Jennifer Grob observed the suspect hiding near a vehicle in the Red lobster parking lot and officers began a foot pursuit," said Mastronardy in an email. "The suspect removed his shirt and ran into a wooded area at the northeast corner of Hooper and Oak Avenue."
Officers Grob and Frank Moschella were chasing the suspect, and Det. Glen Lucas confronted him in the wooded area and brought him to the ground, poilice said.
After an investigation by police, Moriarity was again arrested.
Police believe Moriarity allegedly entered one vehicle in the office lot and then entered another vehicle in the Red Lobster lot.
As to what was stolen from the vehicles, Mastronardy said $8 was recovered.
Moriarty was then arrested again and charged with two counts of burglary, resisting arrest and held on $75,000 bail no 10 percent.