A handyman from Ocean Gate is suspected of having busy hands in a Lakewood townhouse community.


John Kovatch was arrested Monday morning by Lakewood police in connection with burglaries in the Coventry Square complex in August of this year and November 2012. He's accused of swiping the goods and unloading them in pawn shops.

The arrest, say police, followed a probe lasting several weeks that was spurred by the number of times Kovatch's name appeared on pawn receipts, on the same dates that several of the burglaries occurred.

Following unsuccessful attempts to find Kovatch, detectives assumed the guise of rental property owners and sought him for a home repair estimate. He was cuffed without incident on arrival, say police, and found with about $2,000 worth of jewelry reported stolen in Ocean Gate.

Kovatch faces four counts each of receiving stolen property and fencing stolen property. He was placed in the Ocean County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.