Toms River Police are crediting local cameras for helping to track down several robbery suspects
At 6:50 a.m. on Wednesday, Toms River police units were dispatched to Bombay Food and International Grocery on Route 166 for a reported burglary.
Manager Mohamed Elgendy told police that upon opening for the day he discovered the rear door to the business had been pried open and three display cases containing $2700 worth of scratch off lottery tickets along with $500 of Marlboro cigarettes were stolen from the counter area.
While reviewing external surveillance video from Bombay and other adjacent businesses, two suspects, Michael Morgan and Erika Cruz, were identified by police and arrested hours later.
Further investigation revealed both Mr. Morgan and Ms. Cruz immediately cashed in tickets totaling $600 and attempted to cash in additional tickets at other local convenience stores but were unsuccessful as the lottery commission had already shut down the stolen tickets reported by Bombay Foods.
The success of this investigation was a direct result of the multiple surveillance cameras that were available to police that recorded the suspects and the crime in progress, police said.
Detective Mark Bajada signed complaints against both Mr. Morgan and Ms. Cruz for burglary and theft.
Mr. Morgan was housed in the Ocean County Jail and Ms. Cruz was released on her own recognizance.
Toms river Police encourages all residents and business owners who have surveillance cameras to register them with their Operation WatchDog program so they can continue to assist in solving crime.