Pair Charged in Copper Pipe Theft from Sandy Victim's Home

First incident of theft involving a Sandy victim, police said

Toms River police on Sunday made the first arrests for theft from a Hurricane Sandy victim's home on the township's barrier island section, Chief of Police Michael Mastronardy said.

Two suspects, Maximo Panolaya Castillo, 25, and Israel Garcia, 24, both of Perth Amboy, were charged with burglary and theft after they allegedly stole copper pipe from a home in the area of 2nd Avenue, Mastronardy said.

"Officers discovered they entered a vacant damaged home and removed 30 feet of copper pipe worth about $200," Mastronardy said.

A contractor working in the area advised police of the two suspicious males at about 1 p.m. Sunday.

"The witness stated he became suspicious as to what they were doing under the residence and they quickly fled when he went to approach them," Mastronardy said.

Officers Thomas Grosse and Thomas Herbst located the two men near the beachfront as they took a smoke break, according to the chief.

Panolaya and Garcia are being held in jail on $15,000 bail with no 10 percent option. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been advised by police that the men allegedly are illegal aliens, Mastronardy said. 

Angela Riley December 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I have a summer home in Ortley as well and also went yesterday to find my front door kicked in. The house is stripped to it's studs, so there was nothing to take, but something needs to be done to protect our homes. We cannot live there, and we cannot protect our homes, what are we supposed to do? What about the people who are full time residents and have important belongings there?
Patricia Perillo December 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Just read this article today. What the hell is going on ? I live in Normandy Beach and still can not live in my home, due to the lack of utilities and flood damage. Each time I enter the island, I need to show picture ID, so how in the world did they get on the island? If it is to repair our homes,they must register at City Hall and obtain a release to work on our properties ( shown to the officers ) who then validate the letter and initial.If the officers have scanners in their patrol cars, scan the letters along with the plate numbers. Normandy Beach Resident
wookfish December 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM
They can get in anywhere.....they got across the border with no problem
~Barb~ December 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Take them out to sea....free chum.
BellaRox January 03, 2013 at 01:03 PM


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