Surveillance video shows a man attempting to break into what police described as a “high end” car in Lavallette Monday night, followed by an attempt to break into the adjacent home after he discovered the car was locked.
The suspect, who has not been identified publicly, was unable to gain access to the home, leading neighbors to call police, said Lavallette Police Sgt. Justin Lamb. The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. Monday night, ultimately resulting in a pursuit up the island that had to be called off due to high speeds. In the hours following the incident, a high police presence could be seen locally, and for a short period the Mantoloking Bridge was closed to traffic.
Lavallette police released a video showing the initial attempt to open the door to gain access to a late-model Audi parked in a driveway. Police, for the last two years, have cited more frequent vehicle robberies in the last two years on both of Ocean County’s barrier islands.
A masked actor “approached a resident’s high-end vehicle to see if it was unlocked,” Lamb said. “Upon seeing it was locked, he appeared to give up as he ran back to his getaway car.”
The man then attempted to make entry into a side door of the home, which was locked. He finally tried to enter at the front door, which was also locked. At that point, the suspect ran back to a getaway car and sped off.
“Eyewitnesses called into police and Lavallette police officers were able to identify the suspect vehicle and attempted to make a motor vehicle stop, but the suspect vehicle began driving at excessive speeds and a pursuit was terminated,” Lamb said.
The incident remains under investigation.
“I urge all residents of Lavallette, please keep your vehicles locked and your homes and report any and all suspicious activity,” he added.