A Point Pleasant man and a Brick man have been arrested and charged by Brick police with stealing three air conditioning units from the storm-damaged home of a Brick resident.
The pair are now being investigated for additional thefts in the area as well.
The home with the stolen air conditioning units had been damaged during Superstorm Sandy and was vacant at the time of the theft, which the resident reported to police Feb. 15, Sgt. Keith Reinhard said.
The Carrier units were valued at about $12,000, and were only eight months old, since the home had been newly constructed before the storm struck, said Reinhard.
An investigation by Detectives Bob Shepherd, Michael Feeney and Thomas Cooney eventually led to the arrests of Steven A. Smith, 49, of Central Boulevard, in Brick, and Edward Kinney III, 34, of Salem Road, in Point Pleasant Borough.
Both men were charged with theft of movable property. Smith's bail was set by Municipal Court Judge Robert Lepore at $75,000 cash; Kinney was processed and released on a summons.
"It is believed that these two individuals are responsible for numerous thefts throughout shore towns in both Ocean and Monmouth counties that were affected by Hurricane Sandy," said Reinhard, in a statement.
The vehicles that were used in the suspected thefts were a white, 2006 Dodge Dakota pickup truck, license plate NJ PZB-33A; and gray 2003 Dodge Ram pickup truck, license plate NJ WSY-84L.
Brick police are asking anyone with any further information regarding the two suspects to contact Detective Daniel Waleski at 732-262-1120 or their local police department.
"The Brick Township Police Department is also encouraging folks to label their outdoor air conditioning units with their names and/or addresses with some type of permanent marking," Reinhard said in the statement. "This will assist police officers throughout the local towns if they are investigating person(s) with these air conditioner units in their possession."