Brick police arrested two men who are now charged with stealing a utility pole and wiring from a vacant home on Sunset Boulevard.
Steven R. Damato, 26, of Middletown and Benjamin O. Ellis, 42, of Toms River, are facing theft charges in an incident that occurred Tuesday, police said.
As police were on their way to the home, dispatch received information from a caller that a two-door silver pickup truck had left the residence and began traveling north on Route 35, Sgt. Henry Drew said. Prior to leaving the residence, the operators of the pickup truck were observed removing a utility pole from the property, the caller told police.
Patrolman Bryan Murphy caught up to the pickup truck and pulled it over near the Mantoloking Bridge, Drew said, while Ptl. Keith Donnelly went to the home to conduct an investigation.
An investigation at the scene of the motor vehicle stop and at the residence revealed that Damato and Ellis had removed a utility pole and electrical wire from the residence in order to “scrap it” to make money, Drew said. The utility pole and electrical wire were located in the vehicle being operated by Damato. In addition, Drew said, a quantity of marijuana was also located.
Damato and Ellis were placed into custody without incident and transported to Brick Police Headquarters, where Damato was charged with theft, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Damato also satisfied $500 cash bail for a warrant issued out of the Toms River Municipal Court. He was released on a criminal summons.
Ellis was charged with theft and released on a criminal summons.
Detective Thomas Cooney assisted Murphy and Donnelly with the investigation, Drew said.