BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - A call to police by an alert neighbor and assistance from members of the New Providence Police Department led to the arrest of two people in connection with a forced-entry burglary on McMane Avenue on Saturday, April 8.

Public Information Officer Capt. Robert Deitch gave the following account of the arrests:

The neighbor called the Berkeley Heights Communication Center at 6:48 p.m. to report a suspicious silver Nissan Altima with a female driver and a male passenger in the area of Tip Top Way near McMane Avenue.  The caller told police the car had been seen pulling into different driveways in the neighborhood. After it was in the driveway, the passenger would leave the car and approach the home.

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Berkeley Heights officers Ronald DeSimoni and Valeriya Bagmut responded to the area and saw the silver Nissan Sentra parked in a driveway on the 200 block of McMane Avenue. Only the driver, who was later identified as Antoinette Holmes, was in the car. While DeSimoni spoke to Holmes, the passenger, later identified as Christopher Morales,  appeared from around the back of the residence with a box in his hands. Morales returned to the rear of the home, out of sight of the officers.

DeSimoni went to the back of the house, saw the box Morales was carrying on the ground, while Morales fled into the wooded area behind the home.

DeSimoni notified the communications center and officers from the New Providence Police Department responded to the area to assist in the search.  

The officers saw Morales running through a nearby parking lot, where he was apprehended without any further problems.

Also responding to the scene were Berkeley Heights Detective Sergeant Joseph Williams and Det. William Fettes and members of the Union County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit.

Officers confirmed a forcible entry burglary to the home next to which the Nissan was parked. 

Morales and Homes were arrested by Berkeley Heights Police and taken to headquarters for processing.

Morales, 34, from Fords, was charged with Burglary, Receiving Stolen Property, Theft of Moveable Property and Criminal Mischief.  Morales was also found to have several outstanding warrants.  He was lodged in the Union County Jail pending a detention hearing.

Holmes, 43, from Jersey City, was charged with Burglary and was found to be wanted out of Middlesex County for burglary.  She was processed and released to Middlesex County on their warrant.

Chief DiPasquale would like to recognize and commend the resident that contacted the police department to report the suspicious activity.  Without this person’s alertness, this crime may have gone uninterrupted with the suspects retaining their illegal proceeds.  

Chief DiPasquale also extends his thanks to members of the New Providence Police Department for their efforts which led to apprehending Holmes and to members of the Union County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance with processing the crime scene.