Man charged with walking into Old Bridge school, stealing from teacher’s purse
OLD BRIDGE — Police say they have arrested the man who walked into a parochial school without permission before leaving with an envelope from an empty classroom.
Quentin C. Hunt, 55, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with burglary and theft.
Capt. Steve Daroci said police believe it was Hunt who walked into St. Thomas the Apostle grammar school on Monday morning and went into an empty classroom unnoticed. Daroci said Hunt left the school with an envelope from a teacher's purse.
Police say that Hunt may have grabbed the envelope because it appeared as if it could have money in it. In actuality, the envelope only had other papers.
Before this incident, Hunt already was facing charges of stealing thousands of dollars from a church in Lyndhurst.
St. Thomas Principal Joanne Kowit posted a letter on the school's website about what she called "an unfortunate incident" at the school. Kowit said after learning that there was an unauthorized man in the building, she "called a lockdown and then the police."
"There was a very quick response, but the man fled the building," she said in the statement. "I am not trying to minimize the seriousness of this incident, but I would like you to know that at no time were your children confronted by this man or left unattended. The teachers were quick to respond to the alert, sheltered in place, and kept the students calm and safe."
Since the incident Monday, Daroci said the department has spoken to the staff at St. Thomas about their security, as well as the staff at St. Ambrose, which is another parochial school in the township, to ensure they had up-to-date procedures.
Kowit said in her statement that the school has regular drills to ensure student safety, but said "we are reexamining all of these drills and safety procedures."
"I think you know that there is nothing more important to us than the safety and well being," she said. "One final note — although you may want to keep them close, if you don't send your children to school, they will think you don't believe school is a safe place and they will be afraid. Please let them know that they are protected and loved."
According to Daroci, Hunt also was being held on a warrant for another offense. Daroci also said that Hunt is on probation.
According to a story on NJ.com, Hunt was arrested in March on charges that he stole more than $6,000 from St. Mary's Church in Lyndhurst. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Tuesday the status of that case or whether Hunt had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com