OCEAN TOWNSHIP, Monmouth County - The trail of brass collection plates stolen from an Oakhurst church leads detectives to a suspect in the same section of Ocean Township, and the discovery might also solve a burglary in Asbury Park.

Handcuffs And Fingerprints

Ernest C. Lathom, 40, was arrested Tuesday, and charged with taking the plates from the First United Methodist Church of Oakhurst. The theft was reported September 25.

Police did not elaborate on how Detective Jesse Orbach developed Lathom as a suspect. They did say that at the time of his arrest, Lathom also had a vestment belonging to a priest, and articles stolen from a business in Asbury Park. They did not provide details of the business, date of the robbery, or the items that were found.

After booking, Lathom was released to await a court appearance.

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