A Forked River man was arrested for robbery of $800 of goods from the Sears store in Toms River at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Toms River Police said.
Officers arrested Kenneth Vanlenten, 41, of 103 Chestnut Street, Forked River, and charged with him with robbery, police said. Vanlenten was lodged in Ocean County Jail on $50,000 bail, with no 10 percent option, police said.
Toms River Police gave this account of the incident:
Sears security officers observed a male leaving the store without paying for a Dyson vacuum cleaner and a Cuisinart coffee maker, police said. Vanlenten placed the items in a vehicle parked in the fire lane.
The suspect was seen re-entering the store, removing a power drill and leaving the store. Sears security confronted Vanlenten, who threw the drill at an officer and then proceeded to assault the individual with his fists until Officer Robert O'Neill arrived on the scene.
Lt. James Harris located the vehicle with the vacuum and coffee maker at the Toys R Us parking lot on Hooper Avenue shortly after the incident at Sears. Harris was able to return the merchandise to Sears.
The driver of the vehicle a 36-year-old, Seaside Heights man, who claimed he did not know the items were stolen. He was released after being issued a summons for driving with a revoked license.
Officer Scott Duncan was also involved in the investigation.
In a separate incident, Officer Michael Foy is investigating the theft of 2 4D truck batteries valued at $450 from Car Port Auto Parts on Route 70 sometime Monday into Tuesday, police said.