Robbery At A Bakery
The newsroom phone rang shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday. It was a listener of WOBM reporting a large police presence in Beachwood outside of the Baldanza's Bakery. I immediately sprang into action to confirm the tip and to see what was happening.
After several phone calls to the police and sheriff's departments, I was hitting brick walls. I called our news director Tom Mongelli who drove to the scene and filled in the gaps.
By 8:30, Tom was at the scene with information for us that he delivered live during our newscast. Someone had attempted to rob the bakery shortly before 6 a.m. Little was known at this point but we were determined to get you the full story.
Once my newscasts were done, I headed for the bakery. Upon arriving, I couldn't help notice the smashed windows on the second floor of the front of the structure. I met the owner of Baldanza's inside. Frank Cognetta and his staff seemed shaken a little by the events but as far as the customers were concerned, it was business as usual.
Cognetta said “I was told that they broke into the second story, in the office. They swung in from the roof, believe it or not, like a movie…crashed through the window.”
That broken glass said it all. Now there's an unknown suspect on the loose. At this point, neither the police or Cognetta could confirm if anything was actually stolen from the business. They are still investigating that.
Police Sergeant Glen Demarco of the Beachwood Police Department says they do have a few leads and some evidence that can help the probe - however, they can't divulge those details to the media at this point.
At least a half-dozen local and Ocean County investigative teams responded, including a K-9 unit.
The incident in Beachwood is the second in as many weeks. It comes less than two weeks after a police officer shot and killed a man while responding to a disturbance call outside the High Velocity Sports Bar. There has also been a number of break-ins and even a car theft. What's happening out there? Are residents concerned?
While most people we spoke to outside a busy store in the borough aren't worried about it, some had opinions.
One man says he blames it on the economy. He says "this may have been an isolated incident as it wasn't a serial burglar or something, but I'm convinced as things get tougher out there we will see a rise in these incidents."
Tony, the owner of a local pizzeria tells us the recent events have caused him a little anxiety. He says "we are remaining proactive with alarm systems, cameras, etc. We had a break-in a few years back. Thankfully nothing was taken and no one was injured. We will keep our efforts going. Maybe we need more police out on the streets.”
Some of the people told us that they feel Beachwood police do a good job patrolling but they could probably use to hire more officers.