Police arrest man after boy catches burglar inside NJ home
WAYNE — Police said they arrested the house burglar who was caught by an 11-year-old boy.
Capt. Laurence Martin credited the public with identifying suspect Thomas Coughlin, 23, of Pompton Lakes. He was arrested at his home on Tuesday morning after police released images of the suspect caught by surveillance video.
Pompton Lakes police were able to recover the items taken from the home and arrest Coughlin without incident.
"It was the combined effort of the household having a clear, quality video system in the interior of the house and the media blast that went out. (The media) made this happen. If you didn't get this out to the public it would have just been old-fashioned police work walking door-to-door and interviewing people which sometimes takes weeks to complete," Martin said.
The picture generated 50-60 calls, not all of which provided good information. Quite a few of the calls were helpful and were able to point detectives in the right direction, according to Martin.
The 11-year-old boy came home from school around 3:20 p.m. on Monday and heard a man inside a first floor room. When he spotted the man, he quickly left and went to a neighbor’s home to call police.
"In the video you can see when he walks in the house his sixth sense goes off and he immediately knows something is wrong," Martin said. "The kid did the right thing. He didn't confront him physically. They saw each other but there was no confrontation and the kid got out of there right away."
By the time officers arrived, the man was gone, but the owner’s home surveillance system caught the man on video entering the home through a sliding glass door and then walking around the house, police said.
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