A multi-jurisdictional investigation into multiple acts of criminal mischief to vehicles in Ocean County led to the arrest of 35 year old Chesterfield, New Jersey resident Anthony Lewis. Mr. Lewis was charged with thirty-one counts of criminal mischief, thirty-one counts of interference with transportation and thirty-one counts of reckless endangerment of another person.
The investigation included incidents that took place between December 2018 and March 2019, where over 41 vehicles traveling throughout Ocean County were struck with objects thrown from another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. As a result police reports were filed by victims in Barnegat Township, Jackson Township, Lacey Township, Manchester Township and Plumsted Township. A majority of the incidents occurred on February 14, 2019, along a stretch of County Route 539 in Plumsted Township. During that incident more than 15 cars sustained damaged windshields. In one of the incidents a metal nut struck and became imbedded in the driver-side, side-view mirror.
A break in the case occurred on March 7, 2019, when the Manchester Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a motorist reporting that his windshield had been struck by an object thrown from a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction on County Route 539. While reporting the incident, the caller advised that he was actively following the vehicle from which he suspected the object had been thrown. The caller provided a description, license plate, and direction of travel of the suspect vehicle. The suspect vehicle was subsequently stopped by Manchester Police on County Route 539 in Plumsted Township. The vehicle was identified as a Black 2006 Nissan Altima registered in the state of Pennsylvania. The operator, sole occupant, Mr. Lewis was arrested for an outstanding traffic warrant out of Jackson Township Municipal Court. Mr. Lewis was released on his own recognizance for the traffic offense at that time.
Based on the information learned on March 7, 2019, and through further investigation which included multiple dash cam videos, police were able to link Mr. Lewis to a total of 31 separate incidents of damage to vehicles throughout Ocean County. As a result of the investigation, the Manchester, Plumsted, Jackson, Lacey and Barnegat Police Departments charged Mr. Lewis with a total of 31 counts of criminal mischief, 31 counts of interference with transportation, and 31 counts of reckless endangerment of another person. Mr. Lewis was arrested at his residence without incident on April 9, 2019, by members of the Plumsted, Jackson, and Manchester Police Departments. Mr. Lewis was lodged in the Ocean County Jail.
This investigation is ongoing and there is the potential for additional charges to be filed. If you have any information regarding these incidents please contact Manchester Police Detective Adam Emmons at 732-657-2009 ext. 4203 or Plumsted Township Detective Anthony Ringle at 609-758-7077 extension 203.
Anonymous tips and information can also be reported to the Manchester Police Department at http://manchesterpolicenj.com/investigations-bureau/tip-line/