After a two-and-a half month investigation, post-Hurricane Sandy until now, five Rumson and Fair Haven teens have been arrested on burglary charges stemming from the alleged looting of a Rumson home in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The alleged singular incident at a Buena Vista Avenue home, that occurred in the night time sometime between Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, is what ignited an unfounded borough-wide rumor of mass looting, when this was the only incident, Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson said.
"People heard about this one incident and word spread like wildfire that there was looting going on all throughout the borough after Sandy," Paterson said. "That wasn't the case at all. It was just this one, singular incident, which we had been investigating since."
That investigation resulted in the arrests and processing, over the past 10 days, of the five on third-degree burglary and theft charges after jewelry, electronics and cash went missing, some of which was recovered.
Those arrested were: three 18-year-old adults, Zachary Slootsky and Emily Garrison, both of Fair Haven, and Luke Jacobs, of Rumson; and two 17-year-old juveniles, a male and female, from Rumson and Fair Haven.
"Initially, there was about $20,000 worth of valuables reported stolen — jewelry electronics and cash," Paterson said. "Since the investigation began, some was recovered in various locations in and out of the immediate area; and some was turned in by the (alleged) perpetrators."
Rumson Police Detective Christopher Isherwood assisted the investigation; and the Neptune Police Department was involved in the collaborative effort, as "some of the proceeds from the theft turned up there," Paterson said.
"This was a great cooperative effort between police departments and within ours in Rumson," the chief said.
All of the teens were released on bail or to parents on their own recognizance, Paterson said.