One arrested, one on the run in unrelated Lakewood crimes
Swastikas marring a Lakewood yeshiva trigger a dragnet for the suspect, while one officer with an elephant's memory collars an alleged house burglar on the same day.
Police, responding to a report of bias criminal mischief at Yeshiva Ketana on Second Street Thursday afternoon, said they found playground equipment defaced with spray-painted symbols emblematic of Nazi Germany, along with indecipherable signs or figures.
It isn't clear, from police information, whether it will be categorized as a bias incident, but they urge anyone who might have seen it unfold to call Detective Michael Cavallo, 732-363-0200 ext. 5317.
Just about two and a half hours later, a Lakewood officer at the NJ Transit bus terminal encountered the suspect in an August 8 house burglary. Victor Velez, Sr., was arrested without incident, charged with burglary and theft.
According to police, the victim reported finding and confronting the suspect in her house, holding her piggy bank, ignoring her as he walked from the house and wheeled away on a bicycle. She had enough time to snap a photo, which she forwarded to headquarters.
An officer,. seeing the image as it circulated, identified it as Velez, based on an encounter 10 years ago, police said. He notified Detective Nathaniel Reyes, who completed the arrest.
Velez was placed in the Ocean County Jail, in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Criminal charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.