LACEY – A township man has been charged with burglary and more after breaking into several cars and stealing from a local Wawa, officials said.
Brian Salters, 43, of Forked River, was charged with six counts of Burglary, three counts of Attempted Burglary, two counts of Theft, Criminal Mischief and Shoplifting in connection with a series of incidents that occurred in Lacey Township on August 1.
On that day, authorities said Salters went to the Wawa store in Lacey Township and shoplifted an energy drink. After leaving, he went onto North Hollywood Boulevard and proceeded to enter six unlocked cars, removing loose change from two of them.
Police said Salters attempted to enter three more cars but was unsuccessful. After entering a car parked in a driveway on North Hollywood Boulevard, Salters ignited a fire inside the passenger compartment. He then fled the area on a bicycle after the fire was set, police said.
On August 22, Salters was served with the complaints relative to these charges at the Ocean County Jail, where he has been lodged on unrelated charges.
“The arrest of this defendant should serve as a reminder to everyone to lock their vehicles locked at all times, especially overnight. Although there is no evidence to suggest that this defendant attempted to steal any of these vehicles, there has been a dramatic increase in stolen vehicles statewide. Locking your vehicle and securing your key fob inside your home at night is the best protection against having your vehicle broken into or even worse – stolen,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.
Prosecutor Billhimer and Lacey Township Chief of Police Michael DiBella commend the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Lacey Township Police Department, Lacey Township Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their combined and collective efforts in connection with this investigation.
The charges referenced are merely accusations and the public are reminded that all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.