FREEHOLD, NJ — A 47-year-old Belmar man has been arrested in connection with a rash of burglaries at four Joe’s Bagel & Grill locations, including Belmar, where he had recently been employed, according to police.

Daniel Ferrara Jr. was nabbed in Asbury Park at 4:49 a.m. on November 12 — two hours after Belmar police observed a shattered business door at Joe’s Bagel shop at 801 Main Street, where they found multiple cash registers had been opened and emptied, according to police.

Shortly thereafter, a stop was requested on a suspect in Asbury Park believed to be responsible for the Belmar burglary. That suspect was Ferrara, who at the time of his apprehension, had in his possession items stolen from the burglary at the Belmar shop, which included $350 in cash and loose change in a brown paper bag, police said.

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Ferrara is accused of stealing at least $6,100 in cash during a string of burglaries at Joe’s Bagel shops that occurred from November 4 to November 12 in Point Pleasant, West Long Branch, Sea Girt/Wall and Belmar.

Ferrara has been charged with multiple counts of burglary, theft of property and criminal mischief in connection with those break-ins, as well as violating his parole. He is currently being held at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold. A detention hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 18 before Superior Court Judge Paul Escandon.

Calling the past two weeks “a very terrified time,” Joe’s Bagel & Grill owner Russell Grabow said Ferrara targeted both him and his businesses. “It’s been tough on our employees and on myself,” said Grabow, adding that the ordeal came at the time when the restaurant chain opened its newest location at 931 Fischer Boulevard in Toms River.

Grabow said his work force is like a family to him. “That’s why I’m disappointed,” said the business owner, who identified Ferrara on surveillance videos taken at the time of the burglaries.

After Ferrara was terminated from Joe’s Bagel for stealing cash, his alleged crime spree began on November 4 at Joe’s Bagel shop at 632 Ocean Road in Point Pleasant, where an undisclosed amount of money was taken, according to police.

It then continued on November 9 at Joe’s recently opened location at 2100 Route 35 in Sea Girt/Wall, where the glass front door was smashed allowing the perpetrator to gain entry.  Some $160 in cash and the contents of a cash drawer valued at $500 were taken, police said.

On November 10, the West Long Branch eatery at 205 Route 36 was hit next. Ferrara is accused of using the store’s keys, which he did not return upon his termination, to entire the business after hours and remove a safe containing $5,000 and another $25 in cash, police said.

In the final incident in Belmar on November 12, police at 2:38 a.m. found a rock had been thrown through its front glass door, which fronts Belmar Plaza, allowing the perpetrator to gain entry. Ferrara was nabbed in Asbury Park several hours later on a warrant from Point Pleasant police resulting from the November 4 incident.

At the time of his arrest, Ferrara was on parole after serving nearly six months at Central Reception and Assignment Facility in Trenton following his conviction for shoplifting in Monmouth County, according to the state Department of Corrections website. He was sentenced in March 2018 by Superior Court Judge Honora O'Brien Kilgallen, who presides over the Monmouth vicinage’s drug court.

Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and state law.

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