FREEHOLD – A Morris County resident who burglarized a beachfront home in Sea Girt and stole the tenants’ vehicle and personal effects while they slept upstairs last week has been located and criminally charged, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey and Sea Girt Police Chief Justin E. Macko jointly announced Tuesday.

Justin Leuzarder, 39, of Morristown is charged with third-degree Burglary and third-degree Theft.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. on Monday, August 15, members of the Sea Girt Police Department responded to a home on the 700 block of Morven Terrace on a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, the officers met with the couple who was renting the home, who noted that numerous items had been stolen – to include electronics, cash, credit cards, and the Audi A5 that had been parked in the driveway.

The investigation revealed that a suspect later identified as Leuzarder had entered the home through an unlocked rear door shortly after 2 a.m. The two tenants of the home did not encounter Leuzarder during the course of the burglary and were uninjured. Later on the same morning of the burglary, Leuzarder was taken into custody following a traffic stop in Denville (Morris County); the Audi and many of the stolen items were subsequently recovered and returned to their owners.

“This is certainly not a problem limited to just one town, or even one county – there has been a surge in motor vehicle thefts occurring statewide and beyond this year,” Acting Prosecutor Linskey said. “Homeowners and renters alike need to remember to make sure that they lock their cars, take their key fobs with them, and please lock their homes. It’s chilling to think that the victims in this case were in their dwelling while the defendant was in the home.”

“This case presents a good opportunity to remind the public to please always remember to keep your home and vehicle locked,” Chief Macko added. “Theft prevention is very often merely as simple as taking quick, easy measures to protect yourself and your property.”  

Hearings in the case remain pending in Monmouth County Superior Court.

Despite the charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.