Two juveniles arrested in Maple Leaf robbery


BRICK TOWNSHIP — Two 17-year-olds have been arrested in connection with a robbery in the Maple Leaf Park Apartments, the Brick Police Department announced. 

According to a statement released Sunday evening by the police department, the robbery occurred after two juveniles males agreed to purchase a video game console from a seller, from Brick Township on the second-hand purchasing app letitgo. The two youths agreed to meet in front of 1112 Sawmill Road in the Maple Leaf complex to make the exchange.

Once they met at the spot, the two juvenile suspects asked the seller to drive them to an ATM to retrieve cash before returning to the original meeting spot.

“Once they got back, one of the suspects exited the vehicle and left the immediate area. The remaining suspect remained in the vehicle for a few minutes, then took the video game console without giving the seller any money and began walking away. The man followed the suspect, telling him to give the console back and the suspect brandished a box cutter. At that time the seller stopped pursuing the suspect and returned home to report the incident to police,” Brick Township Police Sgt. Jim Kelly said in the press release.

Officers Harrison Thiebault, Joseph Lardieri, Ryan Wynn, Matthew Firneno and Officer Keith Prendeville with a K9 officer responded to the area. Patrolmen Thiebault and Lardieri met with the victim while Patrolmen Wynn, Firneno and Prendeville canvassed the area for the suspects.

The seller provided a statement to Detective Michael Bevacqua, who was assigned to the case while concurrently officers canvassing the neighborhood obtained further information on the suspects, whom the release stated were known to the officers.

“Less than two hours after the robbery had occurred, Patrolmen Kevin Docherty and Ryan Wynn observed both suspects in the area of the primary suspect’s residence in the Maple Leaf complex. Patrolman Docherty placed the primary suspect under arrest for the charges of robbery and weapons offenses. The secondary suspect, who was not charged with the robbery offenses, was found to be in possession of a knife and was arrested and charged with weapons offenses by Patrolman Wynn.”

The first suspect was transferred to the custody of the Juvenile Justice Commission and the second was released to his guardian.

“Chief Riccio would like to remind everyone that we have a safe exchange zone for transactions made on the Internet, such as Craigslist and letgo. That zone is located directly behind the police station and is equipped with cameras which are monitored. He encourages people to utilize it for exchanges such as this, and to never meet strangers in unfamiliar locations.”