Ohio man wanted for stealing Jersey Devil from NJ lunch spot, cops say
👿 An iconic hand-carved Jersey Devil statue was stolen from a luncheonette Friday night
👿 Police have identified a man wanted for stealing the statue
👿 The suspect has not been arrested
STAFFORD — An Ohio man is accused of stealing an iconic statue of the Jersey Devil from a family-owned luncheonette in Ocean County and police are still trying to find him.
The Stafford police say Thomas Bintz, 52, of Chandlersville, O.H. stole the carving from Lucille's Luncheonette in Warren Grove Friday night. He is charged with third-degree theft and fourth-degree criminal mischief.
A warrant has been issued for his arrest but he was not in custody as of midday Tuesday. The carving has also not been recovered.
Lucille's released surveillance footage of the theft on Facebook. It appeared to show an SUV with a flatbed backing up to the statue around 10:19 p.m. Friday.
At some point during the heist, a wing broke off from the statue. The luncheonette said that even if the Jersey Devil was returned, it would "not be in any shape to display" in front of the eatery.
Lucille's also said that Joe Wenal, the man who carved the original statue, had seen the news and reached out to the owners.
"He was very disturbed to see what happened to his custom creation, and he is going to start working on a new commissioned replacement for us," Lucille's said
The Stafford police said on Facebook that detectives had all the information they needed to investigate the case.