Stafford Township Police Arrest Pair for Shoplifting, Twice
Stafford Township police officers were quite busy during a recent two-day stretch, with multiple incidents leading to arrests of individuals both local and from outside Southern Ocean County.
On Thursday, Jan. 12, Patrolman Joseph Luna had conducted a follow-up investigation at the Target store in the Stafford Park shopping center in reference to a shoplifting incident that occurred two days earlier on Jan. 10. While Luna was in the parking lot of the Target store, the same white male depicted in surveillance footage from the previous incident was observed exiting the store.
Luna made contact with the subject, identified as Alan Hill, 28, from Forked River, and his girlfriend, identified as MaryAnn Garcia, 36, from Manahawkin, in the parking lot. Hill was found to be concealing store merchandise he allegedly had just shoplifted. The items were more of the same items he was suspected of shoplifting on Jan. 10 – Fit-bit bracelets. Investigation confirmed Hill did not purchase the bracelets.
Hill and Garcia were placed under arrest and transported to the Stafford Township Police Department. Hill was charged with two counts of third-degree shoplifting and lodged at the Ocean County Jail pending future court proceeding. Garcia was charged with one count of third-degree receiving stolen property. She was released pending a future court appearance.
Luna was assisted by members of the Stafford Police Detective Bureau and Patrol Division.
On Jan. 13, at about 4:30 p.m., police received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a male who appeared heavily intoxicated in the parking lot of the Wawa store located on Route 72 at Mermaid Drive in the Ocean Acres section.
Upon arrival, police located John J. Passarelli Jr., 30, of Sanford, N.C., in the parking lot, and further investigation revealed he had several outstanding warrants from New Jersey and North Carolina. He was taken into custody.
Megan Ellen Saunders, 30, also of Sanford, N.C., was found to be operating their vehicle in the parking lot. She was subsequently placed under arrest for DWI. Additionally, in the vehicle was her 2-year-old daughter. The child was later turned over to family members.
Passarelli was transported to the Ocean County Jail in default of his warrants. Saunders was charged with the DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, reckless driving and other motor vehicle charges. She was later released to family members.