A New Jersey man was charged with attempted murder after, police say, he cut a gas line inside the Pennsylvania home of a former girlfriend.

Police said the homeowner woke around 5:15 a.m. Thursday as four other members of the family slept, and found a gas line has been cut. The homeowner also found an incendiary device near the cut line, police said.

Investigators later found that the house had been broken into, police said.

Ryan Elliot, 30, from the Leonardo section of Middletown, was identified by police as responsible for the break in and cutting the line. He was arrested Friday at his house, more than 100 miles away.

West Whiteland police detective Scott Pezick told New Jersey 101.5 that Elliot had made threats to harm his ex-girlfriend within the past month, and she had a protection from abuse order against Elliot.

"The homeowner at the time suspected right away that he may be involved," Pezick said.

Pezick said that an acquaintance of Elliot's who said he had made threats about cutting a gas line. Surveillance video from neighbors also showed a vehicle matching Elliot drives parked near the home.

The homeowner told police the incendiary device did not belong to the homeowner, police said. He told investigators he did not recognize the device, which was inspected by the Delaware County bomb squad, according to police.

"The device had the ability to cause a spark or some kind of reaction which mixed with the natural gas would cause a huge problem," Pezick said.

Elliot was charged in Pennsylvania with five counts of criminal attempt to commit criminal homicide, attempted murder, burglary, reckless endangerment of another person, cruelty to animals and arson endangering property. He was being held at the Monmouth County jail awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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