STAFFORD, NJ - This Wednesday, March 29, Stafford Police arrested Vilhelm H. Rasmussen IV, 48 years of age, of Toms River. Rasmussen also has residence in the state of Tennessee.
Rasmussen's arrest stemmed from an investigation that began Saturday, March 25, by Patrolman Michael Wade into the theft of an enclosed trailer from the property of Ocean International Market located at 399 Route 9 North in Manahawkin.
Preliminary investigation lead to Patrolman Wade securing video surveillance of the suspect and vehicle used in the commission of the theft. From the video, Stafford Police posted 3 still photographs to their social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The police requested help identifying the truck, the suspect or both.
The truck was a bronze Ford F-350 full cab. The Facebook post alone received over 55,000 views.
At approximately 6:40 p.m. Wednesday, Stafford Police received a tip from a resident who had seen the post on Facebook. The resident reported that the suspect and vehicle were both currently parked at the Wawa located Route 9 North by Hilliard Boulevard.
Stafford Police Patrolman Chris Smith and his K9 partner Ollie responded and positive identification of the vehicle and suspect was made. Mr. Rasmussen was placed under arrest without incident.
At headquarters, Rasmussen was processed by Patrolman Wade Detective Drew Smith. He was later released pending a future court date in Stafford Township Municipal Court. Rasmussen was charged with third degree theft. The trailer was returned to its owner.
The department released the following statement of appreciation.
“The men and women of the Stafford Township Police Department would like to thank our residents and citizens around us who continually support us and assist us in the performance of our duties.”
“It's been said that ‘it takes a village’ and that applies to many things. It certainly applies to community policing and the service of law enforcement. We realize the importance of having the public's support, and we witness the value in this every day. Solving crimes requires the full cooperation of the police and the public.” “Social media has changed the way all of us communicate, and it has certainly helped law enforcement on many occasions. We are grateful for it. Thank you to all who assisted with this incident.”