A man – who has since been arrested and charged with burglary – used a sledgehammer to break into a Brick Township store, police said.
Video footage, a report of a missing person, and diligent police work led to the quick arrest of a man who burglarized the Sweet Green Food Market during the early morning hours Thursday. The suspect, Albert Tilton, 63, of Pine Drive, was seen on Sweet Green’s security camera footage using a sledge hammer to break the glass of the front door to enter the store at approximately 3 a.m., said Sgt. Jim Kelly.
Tilton removed the cash register and left the store with it, Kelly said, before returning about an hour and-a-half later to remove a floor safe.
Officers responded to secure the scene and the case was assigned to Detective Dan Waleski, who promptly shared the store’s video footage with patrol officers to be on the lookout for the suspect.
Later in the day, at just before 6 p.m., Patrolman Michael Bennett responded to a report of a missing person. A relative of Tilton’s was concerned because Tilton had shown up at her house at 8:30 a.m. that morning, acting somewhat irrational, asking for a ride to sell some things at the flea market, Kelly said. She refused him the ride and he left the area.
The woman showed Bennett footage from her Ring doorbell, and he recognized that the Ring footage showed the same man as the Sweet Green security camera footage, said Kelly.
Bennett contacted Waleski, and officers responded to Tilton’s address on Pine Drive. While officers were at that residence, Patrolman Robert Heschle spotted a man he identified as Tilton riding his bike in the area. Tilton was stopped and held by Heschle until Bennett responded to his location and placed Tilton under arrest.
A search following the arrest yielded cash believed to be proceeds of the burglary, Kelly said.
A search of the residence on Pine Drive yielded the stolen safe and the sledge hammer used to break the front door. The cash register was found in the trail that leads from Pine Drive to Hooper Avenue, where the Sweet Green Food Market is located.
Tilton was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of theft, and criminal mischief in excess of $3,000 worth of damage.