The Avalon Police Department and the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office announce the recent arrests of three Cape May County residents in a series of copper thefts over the previous several months.
The Avalon Police Department had been conducting undercover operations to address recent burglaries and encountered several suspicious individuals in the area of 53rd Street in Avalon. Further investigation and assistance from the Cape May County Sheriff’s K-9 Department revealed several homes had been damaged from copper pipes being removed from the crawl spaces of nearby homes. One property also suffered water damage due to the water supply still being active.
Charges have been filed against the following individuals:
Leroy Lashley, a 26 year old unemployed plumber from Burleigh, NJ- Numerous counts of burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief and theft. Elizabeth Camp, 27, Cape May Court House, NJ- Numerous counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. Ashley Johnson, 20, North Cape May, NJ- Burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary.
Additional arrests may be forthcoming.
Further investigation by The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office revealed additional homes in Cape May Point, Lower Township, Middle Township, Sea Isle City and Stone Harbor were targeted for their copper.
The case was investigated by Avalon Ptlm. Jeffrey Christopher, David Glassford, Sean McNair and Tim Beal; Cape May County Sheriff’s K-9 Officer, Eric Teasenfitz; and Det. Matthew Leusner, Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office.
County Prosecutor Robert Taylor and Avalon Police Chief David Dean encourage residents to check their seasonal homes for damage and to report any suspicious activity to Police.