EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Tuesday, Sept. 10 at approximately 2:30 p.m., East Brunswick Police Units responded to a residence on Fresh Ponds Road for a diversion burglary. The resident advised the officers that an individual knocked on her door and told her that they were checking property lines and needed to check her property lines. The individual, who was wearing a yellow and green safety vest, told the other individual in the pickup truck that they were going to check the property lines. The resident and the suspect walked to the back of the yard and he asked her some questions relating to her property. He then suddenly ran off and entered the pickup truck and the two suspects drove away heading down Fresh Ponds Road towards Milltown. She was able to provide some minor details with regards to the pickup truck.

The resident returned to her house and found her purse open and left on the kitchen table. Her wallet, which had been inside the purse, had also been opened. An unknown amount of cash was taken from her wallet. The resident also noticed that two separate areas where she keeps money had been ransacked and several thousand dollars were removed.

Prior to this incident the suspects attempted a similar scam on another residence posing as roofers, but were denied access into the house or on the property.

Approximately two hours later, patrolmen Mark Morris and Robert Thuring observed a pickup truck in the parking lot of Studio 6, 246 Route 18, which matched the description that the victim was able to provide. Other officers, including Det. Dan Unkel and Det. Sgt. Jeff Marino, responded to the hotel and set up surveillance on the vehicle. Shortly thereafter, the two suspects attempted to leave the hotel in the pickup truck and were subsequently stopped by Det. Unkel and Det. Sgt. Marino. There were two occupants in the vehicle; the driver later identified as Gary Ely, a 29 year old white male from Fresno, Cal., and the passenger, later identified as Tony Mitchell, a 39 year old white male from Norcross, Ga.

While conducting the motor vehicle stop evidence was observed and retained linking both suspects to the diversion burglary. Both suspects were charged with burglary and possession of stolen property. Ely was additionally charged with hindering apprehension by providing false information related to his identity and a fraudulent driver’s license. Ely was also a wanted fugitive out of California.

Both suspects were transferred to the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Facility in North Brunswick in lieu of $70,000 bail.