Toms River, NJ man pleads guilty to starting fire at Lakewood business that fired him
⚖️ Toms River man pleads guilty to bike theft and starting a fire in Lakewood
⚖️ The crimes occurred months apart with him being released on bail reform in between
⚖️ He remains in the Ocean County Jail awaiting sentencing
A Toms River man has plead guilty to two separate crimes he was previously charged with committing in neighboring Lakewood Township.
Jorge Euxaque-Ballesteros, 26, was arrested shortly after trying to steal a bike that was locked up at a Lakewood home on Congress Street on April 9, 2021, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer.
Lakewood Police received a description of the suspect at the time, and later found who they were looking for in a nearby wooded area.
Euxaque-Ballesteros was then identified as the suspect behind the attempted robbery, was arrested, brought to the Ocean County Jail, and then released under New Jersey's Bail Reform Law guidelines.
He was arrested again by on Jan. 19, 2022, around 2:00 a.m., after setting fire to cardboard and paper in the basement of a local business on Cross Street, setting off the sprinkler alarm.
Billhimer said Euxaque-Ballesteros used to work at that business and had been recently fired.
He was arrested in Toms River by the OCPO-Arson Squad and Lakewood Police and has been in the Ocean County Jail since.
In court on Friday, he pleaded guilty to attempted theft and aggravated arson. Billhimer said the State will be seeking a term of five years in prison for each offense which would run concurrently.
Billhimer said that Ocean County Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Senior Assistant Prosecutor Jamie Schron handled the cases on behalf of the State.