Alert residents lead police to two suspects in burglary

By jeanette m. eng
Staff Writer

By jeanette m. eng
Staff Writer

MARLBORO — On Oct. 31, amidst the festivities of Halloween, residents of Marlboro were still keeping a watchful eye over their town. The residents’ attention to their surroundings assisted in the arrest of two men.

According to police, John P. Sapienza, 20, and Philip A. Squadrito, 20, both of Marlboro, were arrested in the Millponds development and charged with burglary, conspiracy, criminal mischief and theft.

"Residents played a huge role in this case. They were the eyes and ears of the police," Marlboro Police Capt. Bruce Hall said.

Hall noted that as the incident occurred on Halloween afternoon, the streets in the development were busy with parents and children and created an inopportune environment in which to commit a crime.

Residents called police at about 2:30 p.m. with reports of a vehicle being operated erratically in the Millponds townhouse development off Texas Road near the intersection of Route 18 and Route 9.

According to police, Officer Christie Hayes was dispatched to investigate and located the vehicle, a 2002 four-door silver GMC, on Hawthorne Place.

Subsequent to the officer’s arrival, an adult female resident told police there were two people in the area and that one of them had broken into a home on Hawthorne Place. Hayes detained the operator of the vehicle and Patrolman Nick Syzmanski initiated a foot chase with the fleeing subject, according to police.

Syzmanski captured the subject a short time later just outside the development, police said.

A search of the area revealed that a vehicle had been broken into in addition to the home that had been entered, police said. The car and the home were damaged, but nothing was taken from the vehicle or the home, police said.

After their arrests, both subjects were processed and taken to the Monmouth County jail, Freehold Township, in lieu of $7,500. The investigation is continuing with the assistance of the police department’s Detective Unit and K-9 Unit.

In a press release, Police Chief Robert Holmes thanked the residents who provided assistance to the police department.

Adding to the chief’s comment, Hall said, "It is often the case in Marlboro that residents assist the police. We have an amazing number of block watch groups and community help. We would like to encourage everyone to get involved in the block watch programs. For about 25 years, they have been a vital part of the community."

Communication is also key, Hall said, adding that police like to hear from residents who believe something may be happening in their neighborhood. He said police stand ready to respond to residents.