An onlooker to a serious motorcycle accident allegedly stole one of the crash victim's phones that was laying on the ground, and was later arrested in a nearby bar, police said.
The motorcyclist and his passenger were thrown from a Harley Davidson after striking a curb, leaving both with serious injuries, said Toms River Police Captain Steven Henry.
The crash, at around 8:45 p.m. Sept. 30, was in the K-Mart Plaza parking lot on Route 37 East in Toms River, where Avo Kubar struck a curb and crashed.
Kubar, 49, of Brick and his passenger Erica Pach-Doyle, were thrown from the motorcyle and seriously injured, Henry said. Kubar was flown to Jersey Shore Medical Center and Pach-Doyle was transported to Community Medical Center.
"At this time it is unknown why Kubar struck the curb," Henry said in an email. "The investigation is being conducted by Traffic Safety Officer David Bartoshek." Anyone with information is asked to call police headquarters at 732-349-0150.
Among the first responders was Office Paul Burkhardt, who saw a cell phone on the ground near the crash, but after assisting the victims turned to find it was gone, Henry said.
Henry said Burkhardt began questioning witnesses after believing the phone was stolen from the crash scene.
"Officer Burkhardt, after assisting with treating the crash victims, returned to retrieve the cell phone believing it belonged to one of the accident victims. Officer Burkhardt found that the cell phone was no longer there," Henry said. "Burkhardt questioned several witnesses, who stated that a male subject was in the area of the phone and had left in a hurried manner."
Henry said a man was inside the plaza's tavern with the victim's phone. Burkhardt used a description of the suspect to locate the man and questioned him, allegedly finding the victim's phone on him.
The man, James Rivera, 28 of Bel Aire Court, was arrested and charged with theft, Henry said.
"The cell phone was later determined to be the property of the crash victim," said the captain.
Responding to the scene was Toms River EMS, Silverton EMS and MONOC Paramedics.