JACKSON — A Lakewood man was charged with theft after police found him taking metal from a dumpster at a construction site early Sunday morning.

Police said the Simcha Labovitz, 26, was parked next to a dumpster at a construction site on East Veterans Highway around 3:40 a.m. A  large amount of metal and construction material was piled near the car, police said.

Police told Labovitz to return the items as it was not clear if the property owner was holding onto the material for recycling purposes or payment. Labovitz began to argue with them and said he would not comply as he believed he was not doing anything criminal.

Labovitz also refused to take contact information for the property owner in order to get permission to remove the items.

While trash left on the curb is considered up for grabs, police said that in this case, the privately-owned receptacle was on an active construction site that was not open to the public.

As the argument over returning the materials continued, Labovitz called 911 and reached the Ocean County Radio Room, which is run by the Sheriff's Department. The dispatcher was able to confirm that Labovitz did not have permission to be on the property.

Dispatch transferred his call to the watch commander at the Jackson police department, which told Labovitz he could return the items without arrest.

During his arrest, officers said, they found a small clear glass pipe with residue.

Labovitz was charged with theft and possession of drug paraphernalia and released.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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