The manager and treasurer of a local Boys 10U Travel Baseball Team in Manchester has been arrested for allegedly misappropriating $6,500.00 in team funds and then robbing a bank in Berkeley Township Thursday to pay off the debt.

Michael Walters, 52, of Pine Lake Park was charged with one count of theft by deception following the investigation by Manchester Police.

On March 20 coaches and team representatives for the team reported to the Manchester Police that they suspected that Walters was misappropriating the money that the players had raised from fundraising activities which was supposed to be used to purchase equipment, pay entry fees for tournaments and fund other team related expenses.

The information about the theft came to their attention after finding out that Walters was unable to make payment to a winner of one of the team’s fundraisers.

Walters was then charged with one count of theft by deception in excess of $6,500.00 and one count of issuing a bad check in excess of $500.00.

On Thursday, Walters allegedly handed a teller a note demanding money but didn't show a weapon at the Santander Bank on Jamaica Boulevard in Berkeley Township.

Police say he took an undisclosed amount of cash and then took off.

Berkeley Detectives were able to locate his vehicle on video cameras in the neighborhood nearby, which was parked a distance away in an attempt to thwart detection.

It was at this time that Manchester Detectives, aware of the bank robbery, contacted Berkeley Detectives to advise them that Walters had come to their police department with a large amount of cash and used it to pay back money owed to a travel baseball program out of Manchester.

Walters told Manchester Detectives that he had reimbursed the money owed and had made good on the debt.

Money taken from the bank has been recovered.

Walters was transferred to the Ocean County Jail and remains there pending a court hearing.

This investigation is ongoing and there is a potential for additional charges that include 2nd degree Robbery theft and bad checks.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Richard Jupinka at 732-657-2009 extension 4206.

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