Police: Man with AK-47 rifle tried to break in at Marlboro, NJ house
MARLBORO — A Virginia couple has been arrested on charges stemming from an attempted armed home invasion this fall involving a high-powered rifle, according to Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Raymond Santiago.
Early on Sept. 24, Marlboro police responded to a township home where a man had tried to enter through a rear patio door while holding an AK-47-style rifle, Santiago said.
The man was seen fleeing in a dark-colored Cadillac sedan with Virginia license plates around 5:30 a.m.
A Marlboro officer found the sedan and began to follow it, but broke the chase off due to high speed being a public safety risk.
Investigators found that a 24-year-old woman who was among several house guests at the time had been texting with her boyfriend to arrange the armed break-in and robbery at the property, with plans of restraining the homeowner and stealing valuables.
Lauren McNeil, of Newport News, VA, and 21-year-old Acori Knox, of Hampton, VA, each face second-degree counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit robbery, and attempted burglary.
Knox was also charged with first-degree attempted robbery, second-degree eluding police, and three second-degree weapons offenses.
Both were taken into custody on Wednesday in Virginia and were awaiting extradition to New Jersey, ahead of a first appearance in Monmouth County Superior Court.
Santiago applauded the law enforcement involved in tracking down the defendants, saying in a written statement “It’s also a prime example of how powerfully effective collaborative efforts involving multiple agencies can be, all in an overarching effort to ensure that public safety is maintained throughout our communities.”
“The Marlboro Township Police Detective Bureau worked hand in hand with the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Newport News Police Department to close this investigation rapidly,” Marlboro Township Police Chief Peter Pezzullo said in the same release.
Anyone with information about the case has been asked to contact Monmouth County Prosecutor Office Detective Aaron Shaw at 800-533-7443 or Marlboro Township Police Department Detective Edward Ungrady at 732-536-0100.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted to Monmouth County Crime Stoppers by calling their confidential line at 1-800-671-4400, via the free mobile app P3 Tips or online.