A Toms River man has been charged with burglary after police say a resident spotted him inside his Sandy-damaged Toronto Drive home and called police.
Police now believe their suspect, Robert Kovacs, 22, of Toms River, may be responsible for between 10 and 12 more additional burglaries in areas of town affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The owner of the home on Toronto Drive, in the township's Seawood Harbor section, called police after he spotted a man flee out the back door of his home around 10:45 p.m. Monday night, according to Sgt. Keith Reinhard.
The resident told police that when he returned home Monday night, he parked his car in a neighbor's driveway due to his own driveway being blocked by storm debris. When he arrived, he found an unknown vehicle parked in that neighbor’s driveway, occupied by a female and a three-month old baby.
"The female indicated that she was waiting for her boyfriend who was at a friend’s home in the neighborhood," said Reinhard.
Upon entering his own house, the resident discovered that there was an intruder in his home, who had just fled out the back door. The victim notified police and gave a description of the vehicle that the intruder entered, said Reinhard.
Brick Police Ptl. Eric Haugh spotted and ultimately stopped the vehicle on Adamston Road and, after speaking with its occupants, placed Kovacs under arrest for the Toronto Drive burglary, said Reinhard.
The female passenger and her baby were also escorted to Brick Police Headquarters.
Kovacs was ultimately charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglar’s tools. He was processed on a warrant and his bail was set by Municipal Court Judge Robert LePore at $30,000 cash.
He was transported to the Ocean County Jail where he remained Tuesday, jail records showed.
As a result of an investigation by Brick Police Detectives Michael Feeney and Mark Byrne, police now now believe Kovacs could be responsible for as many as 10 to 12 additional burglaries in recent weeks, all of which are located in areas of town that were affected by the storm.
The other burglaries are still under investigation.
"Certainly, depending on what they come up with, there could be additional charges," said Reinhard.