ABSECON - An Absecon police officer captured an alleged burglar in the act and arrested and charged the man hours before his victims even knew they were robbed, according to police.
An officer on patrol at 4:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1 along North Shore Road became suspicious when he saw a man shining a flashlight into vehicle windows, according to a release issued by Ptl. Christian F. Cavileer.
Police stopped the man and found him in possession of stolen items, according to reports.
Eric M. Ireland, 25, of North Shore Road in Absecon was arrested and charged with several counts of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property, Cavileer said.
Ireland allegedly had cash, jewelry, eyeglasses, a cellphone, a wallet, a large amount of coins, and many other items.
He was sent to the Atlantic County jail in Mays Landing on $50,000 full cash bail.
Police also charged Ireland with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of hypodermic needles.
As the victims awoke to start their day, the Absecon Police Department started receiving reports of vehicle burglaries along North Shore Road, East Church Street, Berkeley Avenue, Spruce Street and Shady Lane, Cavileer said.
They were told that the Absecon Police already had a suspect in custody and their stolen possessions waiting to be retrieved.
A Seaside Avenue resident reported that a man broke into her car the night before Ireland was arrested, Cavileer said.
Because he was apprehended so quickly, police were able to match up many of the burglaries to Ireland and the property was returned, Cavileer said.
On Oct. 17, Ireland had been arrested and charged with several counts of burglary and theft in several similar incidents on Oct. 3. Police sazid they believe he had an accomplice.
Ireland was also arrested and charged in Galloway Township last week in connection with vehicle burglaries.
The Abescon Police Department detective bureau requests that anyone with property that went missing in October contact the police department because there remains a large amont of uncollected stolen items. Residents hould report any burglaries or thefts to the Absecon Police Department at (609) 641-0667. n
The incidents are being investigated by Ptl. Daniel Markman with the assistance of Ptl. Jeffrey Mazer, Ptl. Christian Cavileer, and Detective Sgt. Robert Ponzetti.
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