JACKSON TWP. — Five men, a Lakewood resident and four others from Brooklyn, face charges after allegedly forcing entry into a township home Wednesday evening and assaulting members of a family living there.

Information shared by the Jackson Police Department on Facebook indicated that officers first responded to the Olena Drive area hours before that incident on a report of a suspicious vehicle. At the time, police said, the occupants of the vehicle identified themselves as employees of a security company waiting to meet a client, and officers found no basis to detain them.

However, subsequent investigation revealed that the owner of the home on Olena Drive where the alleged invasion took place had leased it to another person, who in turn had sublet it to the family currently occupying the residence. The owner allegedly hired a Brooklyn-based security firm, which police did not name, to oust the occupants while bypassing the eviction process.

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Upon officers' arrival just after 6 p.m. Wednesday, a female resident identified the five males she said had just broken into the home and assaulted the family.

Further investigation determined that the suspects entered through the front door of the house, causing damage to it, held down a male and female resident while confiscating their phones, and began changing door locks.

The male whose phone was taken was able to retrieve it and contact the authorities.

The five suspects, Marco Balanzar-Hernandez, 45, of Lakewood, and Joseph Castano, 22, Robert Drozd, 38, Christopher Landau, 26, and Cesar Saavedra-Luna, 24, all of Brooklyn, were charged with robbery, burglary, criminal restraint, theft, criminal mischief, criminal trespassing, and simple assault.

Their vehicles were seized and all were lodged in the Ocean County Jail, according to police.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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