Toms River police have arrested a man in connection with a 30 day investigation involving a string of overnight commercial burglaries.
Michael Arsenault, 54, of the American Motel was arrested and charged with numerous burglaries, thefts, and criminal mischiefs, as well as resisting arrest, obstruction of law and possession of burglary tools.
According to Toms River Police:
Officer Eric Harris was investigating Arsenault as a suspicious person when he was found walking on Route 166 near James Street on Wednesday at 11:30 p.m., carrying a large box on top of his head.
When he was approached, Arsenault allegedly dropped the box and fled north on Route 166. The officer gave chase and, after a brief struggle, Arsenault was taken into custody.
Hidden in his pants was a plastic bag full of cash. Inside of the box was a large amount of perishable food that was still cold; a flashlight; and some tools commonly used by burglars for breaking into structures, police said.
Some of the money had writing on it which
linked it to a nearby restaurant. A
check of “Shut up and Eat” Restaurant at 804 Main St. located a smashed out
window frame. The phone wires had also
been cut and there was interior damage to the business, as well as missing cash
and food, police said.
Additional investigative work done by Detective Roger Hull determined that Arsenault was allegedly responsible for seven other commercial burglaries dating back to May, police said.
Arsenault was allegedly linked to burglaries at Pisces Seafood, AIC Insurance, Twin Roofing, Safelight Auto Glass, Johns Riverside Florist, Villa Amalfi Restaurant, and Firestone Auto Repair.
Arsenault remains lodged in the Ocean County Jail on $180,000 bail.