Police Chief David A. Paprota announced several arrests in recent burglaries and thefts. They include:
• Melanie Callari, 26, was arrested Monday after Lacey officers responded to a home in the 400 block of Penn Avenue North on a report of a woman forcing her way into a home through a locked screen door, the chief said.
The resident of the home told police she saw the female peering through several windows before making her way to the front door. The female reportedly forced open the locked front storm door to enter the residence.
The victim confronted Callari as she was walking upstairs to the second floor.
The resident contacted police and Callari was arrested at the scene by Officer Anthony Sarno, Paprota said.
Detective Robert Surtees and Detective Samuel Della Sala assumed control of the follow-up investigation. Melanie Callari moved back to Forked River from Lodi two months ago, the chief said.
Callari was quickly identified as a suspect in other burglaries which occurred over the past two months within Lacey Township. Eevidence collected from other burglary scenes provided detectives with sufficient cause to charge Melanie Callari with multiple counts of burglary, as well as theft and criminal trespass of a dwelling. Three separate criminal warrants were issued with the total bail set at $27,500.
Callari also had an active Failure to Appear (FTA) bench warrant out of the Lodi Municipal Court.
The Lacey Township Police Department detectives are continuing the investigation to determine if Callari was involved in any additional burglaries. Melanie Callari was transported to the Ocean County Correctional Facility in default of bail.
• Lacey police recently arrested a Forked River woman after a Fleetwood
Drive resident named her as a suspect in the theft of a metal lockbox
containing prescription drugs, Paprota said.
The resident called police at 8 p.m. on May 29 to report the door leading from her garage to inside her home had been pried open and the lockbox stolen from a bedroom, the chief said.
Officer Noah Schaffer then located Julie A. Knoeringer, 27, at her residence of 1732 Longwood Drive in Forked River at 1:45 a.m. on May 30 and arrested her for burglary and theft, Paprota said.
Knoeringer also had two outstanding warrants for her arrest - a $500 warrant from Beachwood and a $500 from Lacey Township. Her bail was set at $25,000 cash. She was taken to the Ocean County Jail in Toms River, the chief said.
• Detective Robert Surtees observed a black, 4-door, Kia Optima with blacked out windows at noon on May 28. The car matched a description provided in a recent burglary investigation in the Pines Section of Forked River.
The vehicle was observed stationary on a side street in the area of Bay Way in Lanoka Harbor. After observing the vehicle pick up a male who was walking all dressed in black with a black back-pack, Detective Surtees stopped the vehicle on Bay Way, the chief said.
Investigation at the scene led to the seizure of the vehicle to obtain a search warrant. After a five-hour process of obtaining the search warrant and the corresponding search, Melissa Reed, 25, Garfield, and Thomas Lomonico, 24, Toms River were arrested after a search warrant was obtained, the chief said.
Lomonico was charged with possession of burglary tools while Melissa Reed was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (Oxycodone), Paprota said.