Jersey Shore businessman charged in theft of Ronald McDonald statue
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Police say the've found the real-life Hamburglar who stole an iconic Ronald McDonald statue.
And the suspect is a wealthy contractor who lives in a million-dollar waterfront mansion at the Jersey Shore.
Thomas Roman, 56, of Point Pleasant, was charged this week with third-degree receiving stolen property in connection with theft of the life-size statue on April 27 from a McDonald's on Center Street.
The statue, a fixture outside the fast-food eatery ever since the franchise owners bought the 250-pound clown for $7,000 in the early 1990s, was swiped while the restaurant was undergoing renovations.
Property records tie Roman to a Jersey Shore construction company, as well as a seven-bedroom "waterfront compound" in Point Pleasant that he is trying to sell for $2.4 million.
Roman did not return a request for comment left at his home Saturday morning. New Jersey 101.5 could not find out Saturday whether Roman had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
It was not clear Saturday whether Roman was involved in the renovation work at the restaurant. One of the franchise's longtime owners said Saturday that she did not immediately recognize the name of the suspect.
The theft of the statue attracted a lot of media and public attention. But investigators have been keeping certain details of the case as closely guarded as the recipe for McDonald's Special Sauce.
The 250-pound statue, which sits on a bench in front of the restaurant, went missing on April 26 and prosecutors say it was was found May 4, declining to release further details.
The statue was finally returned to the restaurant Saturday morning as prosecutors announced the charges against the suspect.
Roman is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Flemington on June 19.
Sergio Bichao contributed to this report.
Contact Deputy Digital Editor Sergio Bichao at Sergio.Bichao@townsquaremedia.com.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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