HAZLET, March 28 – Randi Barr, the 37-year old man arrested attempted burglary charges March 20 on Ashleigh Drive, made his first appearance in court on March 22 in Freehold. He has been released from the Monmouth County Jail and is scheduled for a pre-indictment conference on May 14, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Court documents state that Barr is a resident of Irvington, NJ. Police accuse him of prying off a screen from a window and attempting to enter the home through an unlocked rear kitchen window, a third degree crime. He is also charged with running from police and damaging the window, both disorderly persons offenses.
More details in the accounts below
HAZLET, March 26 – Police have released information about the man arrested in the woods Wednesday night in connection to an alleged burglary attempt on Ashleigh Drive.
Randi Barr, 37, of Hillsborough is accused of cutting a hole in a window screen to access the residence at around 7:52 p.m. on March 20, according to the arrest report released by Hazlet Police Tuesday. Nobody was home at the time, police said.
Two Hazlet police officers were in the area at that time, according to Lt. Scott Mura. Several officers were involved in a manhunt and foot chase in the woods behind Pep Boys for two suspects in the case. Barr was placed under arrest by Det. Vincent Quinn at 8:30 p.m. The other suspect is still being sought.
Barr, who works as a clerk, has been charged with burglary, criminal mischief and resisting arrest by eluding an officer. Burglary is an indictable offense, and the case will be handled by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Barr was processed and transported to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution without incident. His first appearance before a judge was scheduled for yesterday.
A 2019 Dodge Caravan related to the case was impounded and towed. The van, a rental, was rented by Barr’s girlfriend, according to Lt. Scott Mura.U
HAZLET, March 25 – Police are working with the FBI on the attempted burglary case on Ashleigh Drive Wednesday that led to a manhunt in the dark through the swampy woods and residential areas around the former KMart plaza.
One man arrested by Hazlet Police is in custody and cooperating, Det. Lt. Mulligan said. “We are working on identifying the second suspect,” he said Monday morning. The department will be speaking with the FBI later today about the case. He declined to release any information about the suspect while the hunt for the second continues, citing FBI’s jurisdiction over the case.
– ORIGINAL STORY –
Two Hazlet officers were injured Wednesday night, March 20, during the arrest of a burglary suspect in a wooded area last night behind Pep Boys.
The search continues Thursday for his accomplice, who fled from police, setting off an intense manhunt until 1 a.m. with a state helicopter, K-9s, a drone and officers from multiple departments yielding flashlights.
“We have no reason to believe he is armed,” said Lt. Mura Thursday.
Deputy Chief Ted Wittke posted a press release on Facebook about the arrest at noon Thursday. In it, he said the police have the identity of the suspect at large “We believe that we have identified this person and charges will be pending,” he said.
Wittke stated: “Yesterday, our detectives, while working an investigation developed information that led them to believe that a residence in town was the target of a burglary. After immediately notifying the owners for their safety they set up surveillance of the house. At 7:52 p.m. our officers observed two black males in dark clothing attempt to break in the residence in question. As they called in other officers to the area the two subjects fled on foot. “
With the help of other officers, Lt. Vincent Quinn arrested one of the suspects, who has not yet been named, behind Cerliones Garden Supply on Route 35 around 8:30 p.m.
Two Hazlet officers were injured during the apprehension of the suspect in the swampy wooded area behind the store, according to Hazlet Police Lt. Scott Mura.
K-9 Officer Robert Dickens, with K-9 Bane on a leash, was searching the wooded wetlands in the area off Route 35, with Ptl. Steven Venticinque following in the rear. Bane’s leash got wrapped around a tree, and Dickens’ arm was injured. In the confusion Bane bit Venticinque, leaving puncture wounds. Both officers were treated at Riverview Medical Center and released, according to Mura. Venticinque’s wounds are non life-threatening, Wittke said.
“It’s dark. They ended up getting mixed up, going different directions. They got caught in a swampy area. They were up to their waist in water,” said Mura. In annual K-9 training, officers are trained to stay behind the K-9, who has been “amped up” to bite. “We have to stay behind the dog because if we’re running and chasing down a suspect, we have to make sure he doesn’t chase us,” explained Mura.
Bane will not be punished for biting the officer – but may be suspended today. “It happens,” said Mura.
On Wednesday night around 9:07 p.m., police posted on Facebook they were looking for a burglary suspect described as “a black male subject in dark colored clothing” who fled on foot from a residential burglary in the development behind the old Kmart Wednesday night.
Around 10:11 p.m., they said, “At 7:52 pm our officers witnessed 2 black males attempt to break into a residence on Ashleigh Drive. Our officers could only see that they were dressed in dark clothing as they fled on foot.”
Officers were seen on foot searching backyards with flashlights on Maple Drive, and shining lights into the woods from behind the First Aid building. A low flying helicopter circled a wide area multiple times, which included the wooded area behind Pep Boys, and left at 9:40 p.m.
“Several local, county, state and Federal agencies are assisting us in the search and subsequent investigation,” the police department stated on Facebook.
Wittke said Thursday that support came from Holmdel PD, Holmdel OEM Drone Unit, Union Beach PD, Monmouth County Sheriffs Office and NJ Transit Police.
Wittke said Hazlet residents offered surveillance video of the subjects and reported possible evidence left in their yards. To report tips on this case, contact Det. Michael Tristao at 732-264-0763 ext.125.
This article will be updated with more information as it released.