Breaking News – The Lacey Township Police Department has been investigating a series of residential burglaries that have occurred throughout the township over the past two months. While burglaries are regularly reported to the police department, most often, the reported home entries and thefts are quickly resolved as being thefts committed by family members, friends, or associates of the reporting party. The most recent series of burglaries differ in that it appears the criminal(s) committing the unlawful home entries and thefts may not have any association with the victims. Each of the burglaries has involved the offender accessing the home through an open window or through actually prying open a door or window while the families are not home during weekday, daytime hours.
The officers and detectives of the Lacey Township Police Department have been proactively pursuing all leads and working with the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) to identify suspects.
In this regard, the Lacey Township Police Department has made the following arrests over the past week:
Multiple Counts of Burglary and Theft (Arrest) – On Monday, June 02, 2014, officers responded to the 400 block of Penn Avenue North in Forked River with a report of an adult female having forced her way into a residence through a locked front storm door. The resident of the home reported that she observed the female peering through several windows before making her way to the front door. The female reportedly forced open the locked front storm door to enter the residence. The victim, who was within the residence at the time, confronted 26-year-old Melanie Callari as M. Callari was walking up the interior stairs to the second floor of the home. The victim contacted the police department and Melanie Callari of 418 Penn Avenue North in Forked River was arrested by Officer Anthony Sarno at the scene.
Detective Robert Surtees and Detective Samuel Della Sala assumed control of the follow-up investigation. Melanie Calari was found to have moved back into Forked River from Lodi, New Jersey two months prior to this incident. M. Calari was quickly identified as a suspect in other burglaries which occurred over the past two months within Lacey Township. Investigative evidence collected from other burglary scenes provided detectives with sufficient cause to charge Melanie Callari with multiple counts of burglary, as well as theft and criminal trespass of a dwelling. Three separate criminal warrants were issued with the total bail set at $27,500.
M. Callari also had an active Failure to Appear (FTA) bench warrant out of the Lodi Municipal Court.
The Lacey Township Police Department detectives are continuing the investigation to determine if M. Callari was involved in any additional burglaries. Melanie Callari was transported to the Ocean County Correctional Facility in default of the bail. Further charges are pending.
Burglary and Theft from a Residence (Arrest) – On Thursday, May 29, 2014, at 8:00 p.m., a resident of the 1700 block of Fleetwood Drive in Forked River reported that earlier that morning she discovered the door leading from her garage to the interior of her residence was pried open and a metal lock box containing prescription medications was stolen from a bedroom. The victim was able to successfully provide the name and information of a female suspect who was known to the victim. Officer Noah Schaffer located 27-year-old Julie A. Knoeringer at her residence of 1732 Longwood Drive in Forked River at 1:45 a.m. on Friday, May 30, 2014, and placed her under arrest for burglary and theft. Julie Knoeringer also had two outstanding warrants for her arrest. One warrant was issued out of the Beachwood Municipal Court for $500 and the other outstanding warrant was issued out of the Lacey Township Municipal Court for $500. Julie Knoeringer was charged with burglary and theft on a criminal warrant and bail was set at $25,000 with no 10% option. She was transported to the Ocean County Correctional Facility in default of the bail.
Possession of Burglary Tools and Drug Possession (Arrest) – On Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at noon, Detective Robert Surtees observed a black, 4-door, Kia Optima with blacked out windows which matched a description provided in a recent burglary investigation in the Pines Section of Forked River. The vehicle was observed stationary on a side street in the area of Bay Way in Lanoka Harbor. After observing the vehicle pick up a male who was walking all dressed in black with a black back-pack, Detective Surtees stopped the vehicle on Bay Way. Investigation at the scene led to the seizure of the vehicle to obtain a search warrant. After completing the five hour process of obtaining the search warrant and the corresponding search, both 25-year-old, Mellisa Reed of Garfield, NJ, and 24-year-old Thomas Lomonico of Toms River were placed under arrest. Thomas Lomonico was charged with possession of burglary tools while Melissa Reed was charged with Possession of CDS (Oxycodone). Investigation is continuing.