STAFFORD — The Stafford Township Police received numberous reports of catalytic converters being stolen out of several vehicles at the Barlow Buick GMC Dealership, sometime during the evening hours.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Patrolman Albert Haldenwang, with assistance from the evening patrol shift, conducted a surveillance at the dealership during the suspected hours of theft.
While working, Haldenwang observed a suspicious vehicle stop behind the dealership on Jennings Road, immediately followed by the sounds of an electric saw cutting metal in the parking lot.
Stafford Township Police quickly approached the subject, who was actively cutting a catalytic converter out of a GMC Acadia in the lot. The subject, identified was as Richard Roccia Jr., age 44 of Manahawkin, was placed under arrest and transported to police headquarters.
Further investigation revealed that Roccia had an accomplice, described as a subject named “Steven driving a black Volvo”. With the vague description given, patrol units continued to search the area.
A short time after, a vehicle matching that description was located in the area by Patrolman John Reed. Officer Reed made contact with the driver identified as Steven Weber, age 54 of Little Egg Harbor. After a brief investigation it was determined that Weber was an accomplice to the crime, and was placed under arrest.
Roccia and Weber were charged with Burglary, Theft, Criminal Mischief, Possession of Burglars Tools, and Conspiracy. The arresting officers were Patrolman Conner and Patrolman Reed.