UPDATE: Police Arrest Suspect In Garage Door Theft From Fatal Fire Scene
Crime scene tapes still up when theft took place, detective says
Police have arrested a man they believe stole a garage door from the scene of a fatal fire in Holiday City, Detective Joseph Robertazzi said.
"The suspects stole a metal garage door that was on the property of 35 Biabou Drive," Robertazzi said. "The house was surrounded by crime scene tape. Police units weren’t cleared from the house for an hour and a half when the theft occurred."
The suspect will face charges of tampering with evidence, defiant trespass and theft, Robertazzi said.
A concerned citizen photographed the male suspect and vehicle as he loaded the door into his truck, then sent the photo to a local online news publication, Robertazzi said.
"He sped away when confronted by the concerned citizen," he said.
Police were looking for a mid to late 1990’s forest green Dodge Dakota pickup truck, with a lighter green design on the driver and passenger side and a darker cap, he said.
Detectives tried to locate the provider of the photographs to get the original resolution pictures to reveal the license plate number.
"It wouldn't have been possible without help from a local web reporter who provided photos of the suspect in the act," Robertazzi said.
Anyone with more information may contact Robertazzi anonymously at 732-341-1132 ext. 121
“I’ve seen this truck before in the township," Robertazzi said this afternoon. "They are scrappers. It's only a matter of time before someone turns these people in.”
Joseph A. Lasko, 70, died of smoke inhalation and burns after the fire broke out around 4 a.m. on Saturday in his Holiday City home. The fire has been ruled accidental, probably related to the improper disposal of smoking materials, Senior Assistant County Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus has said.