UPDATE: Theft & Obstructing – The Lacey Township Police Department received a call at 9:10 a.m. from an alert resident who observed two subjects in a silver/grey pickup truck cutting an air conditioning unit from a home on Tiller Drive in Sunrise Beach. The truck was reported to have backed up onto the homeowner’s property with the ends of rear license plate of the pickup truck bent inward so as to obstruct the plate numbers and letters. The suspects cut the lines of the air conditioning unit from the home and loaded it into the bed of the pickup truck. When the homeowner opened his garage door to check why the truck was on his property, the suspects sped away from the scene with the tailgate of the truck still down. Officer Louis Brignola quickly located the vehicle near the 7-11 on Rt. 9 in Lanoka Harbor. Upon seeing the officers, the two males fled on foot. Sgt. James Tranz pursued 20-year-old John Clifton on foot and apprehended him in the wooded area behind the 7-11 store. The other subject, identified as 18-year-old Casey Sinopoli of Lanoka Harbor, fled through the woods. John Clifton was arrested and transported to police headquarters. The stolen air conditioning unit was found in the bed of the truck that the two abandoned when they fled from the officers. The suspect information was posted on the department website then linked to Facebook while the foot search was in progress.
UPDATE!!! At approximately 11 a.m., Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 2 hours after fleeing on foot, 18-year-old Casey Sinopoli of Lanoka Harbor contacted the Lacey Township Police Department and turned himself in. He was subsequently arrested and transported to police headquarters.
The criminal charges on the warrants were as follows:
- Casey Sinopoli, 18, was charged with the 3rd Degree Crime of Theft, 4th Degree Crime of Criminal Mischief, and the 4th Degree Crime of Obstructing. Further investigation at police headquarters led to an additional theft charge for an unrelated theft incident that occurred on April 26, 2013 on Sinclair Avenue in Lanoka Harbor. Casey Sinopoli was released from police custody after being processed and served with the Criminal Warrant (ROR) and a Criminal Summons for the April 26, 2013 theft from the backyard of a Sinclair Avenue, Lanoka Harbor residence.
- John Clifton, 20, was charged with charged with the 3rd Degree Crime of Theft, 4th Degree Crime of Criminal Mischief, and the 4th Degree Crime of Obstructing. John Clifton was transported to the Ocean County Correctional Facility in default of $10,000 bail on the criminal charges. John Clifton also had four additional active warrants for his arrest as follows: (1) Lacey Township, $750; (2) Beachwood, $500; (3) Beachwood, $250; and Ocean Township (Waretown), $250; totaling $1,750.