On Friday, November 26 2021, at approximately 4:10 p.m., the Toms River Police Department dispatched multiple officers to the area of Route 37 and Route 166 for the report of a robbery in progress involving a handgun. Upon their arrival, the victim advised that his vehicle had been stolen from him at gunpoint from the parking lot of 10 Route 37 East. The victim also advised that his vehicle was last seen travelling Westbound on Route 37.
At approximately 4:13 p.m. the Manchester Police Department was contacted by the Toms River Police Department and provided with a description of and the license plate registration of the stolen vehicle, a burgundy in color Dodge Dakota. This information was broadcasted to members of the Manchester Police Department. A short time later, the vehicle was observed by Manchester Police travelling Westbound on Route 37 in the area of Northampton Blvd. Manchester Police Officers were able to catch up to the vehicle in Lakehurst, more specifically the parking lot of the Lakehurst Diner where a motor vehicle stop was conducted and the suspect was taken into custody without incident. The officers responsible for making the arrest were Sgt. Gatnarek, Ptl. Steffen, Det. Emmons, and Ptl. Brush.
Members of the Toms River Police Department responded to the scene where custody of the suspect, Devin Copley-Clevenger, age 20 of Lumberton, was transferred. A search of the vehicle yielded a loaded 9mm handgun with a high capacity magazine.
The Toms River Police Department subsequently charged the suspect with first degree robbery, first degree car-jacking, second degree unlawful possession of a weapon, and fourth degree unlawful possession of a high capacity magazine.
“When law enforcement agencies collaborate, good things happen. This was a dangerous situation that was resolved quickly and safely by all the law enforcement agencies involved”, Manchester Police Chief Robert Dolan said.
The media and the public are reminded that criminal charges are accusations only. Every criminal defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.