Two Brick Residents Arrested for Point Beach Credit Card Theft
The two allegedly used stolen credit card on shopping spree in Brave New World and Walgreen's
Two Brick residents were arrested in connection with the theft of a credit card from an unlocked car in Point Beach after turning themselves in, police said on Wednesday afternoon.
Michael Moretti, 25, of Old Toms River Road, and Christina Martinez, of Eisenhower Drive, 23, were both charged on Thursday with theft of a credit card, in connection with a theft from a car on Sept. 6 or 7, said Detective Clint Daniel.
Martinez was also charged with theft and for burglary, for allegedly entering the car and taking the credit card, Daniel said. She was released on a summons.
Moretti would have been released a summons based on the Point Beach charges alone. However, he was also facing a "no bail warrant" for alleged probation violation, so he was lodged in Ocean County jail without bail, Daniel said.
"He has an extensive criminal record, but she did not," Daniel said.
The two allegedly used the credit card to purchase $400 worth of clothing and sunglasses at Brave New World on Route 35 north in Point Beach and about $200 worth of items at the nearby Walgreen's on the southwest corner of Richmond Avenue and Manetta Drive. Daniel said.
Daniel said the police department was successful in using local media outlets to distribute a surveillance photo of the two at Walgreen's. He said he got about 15 phone calls regarding the identities of the suspects.
"About three were good," Daniel said. "I want to thank the public for the calls."
That information led Daniel to find relatives of the two suspects, which led to the pair calling Daniel separately.
Martinez turned herself in at the Point Beach police department on New Jersey Avenue at about 1 p.m. Thursday, Daniel said.
Moretti arranged through a telephone conversation with Daniel to be picked up at Target on Route 70 in Brick. Daniel picked him up there at about 5 p.m. Thursday and transported him to the Point Beach police department.
On Sept. 13, officers had responded to a residence on New York Avenue in Point Beach, where a victim reported that sometime during the overnight hours of Sept. 6 and 7, his unlocked vehicle was entered and his wallet was stolen.
On Sept. 13, he reported the suspects used his stolen credit card at a couple of locations in the area, one of which was the Walgreen's near the Woodhaven Lumber Yard, Detective Pat Petruzziello had said.
Daniel noted that the incident is just one example of thefts from cars left unlocked.
"This is a continuing problem, with people not locking car and house doors," Daniel said. "I'm urging all residents to lock their doors."
In Point Borough, Councilman Robert Sabosik said at Tuesday night's council meeting that there has also been an uptick in the number of cars left unlocked and broken into. He too urged all residents to lock doors.