Brick police officers edged out a suspect in a foot chase this week, collaring a 28-year-old local man for allegedly shoplifting about $4,900 worth of power tools from the township’s Home Depot store.
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, police were dispatched to the Home Depot on Route 70 for a reported shoplifter at about 3:30 p.m., Sgt. Jim Kelly said. The loss prevention officer for Home Depot told police he observed a suspect, later identified as Michael Schecton, 28, of Whiting, placing items in empty bins.
“The Loss Prevention officer was familiar with Schecton from previous incidents,” said Kelly.
The Brick Police Street Crimes Unit was in the area and responded, arriving while Schecton was still in the store. Schecton, police said, eventually exited the store without paying for the merchandise which he had loaded into a shopping cart. The merchandise, which consisted of mostly power tools, had a total value of over $4,900.
When the loss prevention officer attempted to stop him, Schecton immediately began running, Kelly said. Street Crime Detectives Sgt. Lawrence Petrola, Jeff Person and Matt Firneno were on location and gave chase. The officers ultimately caught up to Schecton and placed him into custody. The detectives were assisted by Ptl. Anthony Barlowski who arrived on scene.
A search of Schecton’s vehicle revealed a bag of gold jewelry which was believed to be evidence from other crimes which is being investigated, said Kelly.
Schecton was charged with shoplifting and obstruction of justice and was lodged in Ocean County Jail.
A photo of the suspect was not available.