BRICK — Two off-duty police officers helped capture a man who police said stole several hundred dollars worth of merchandise from a Home Depot store.

Police officer Sgt. Paul Catalina was walking towards the store on Route 88 near the Lakewood border when he heard an anti-theft device alarm and saw a store employee chasing a man into the parking lot, according to Brick police Sgt. Neal Pedersen. Noticing a security device on the boxes Catalina followed the man back to a car, a 2014 Hyundai Sonata.

Pederson said Catalina identified himself as a a police officer and told the man, Brian Eckardt, 41, from Manahawkin, he was under arrest. Eckardt tried to drive off but Catalina put his hand inside the car to turn the car off.

Off-duty Robbinsville police officer Matthew Hill, who was also shopping at the store, assisted Catalina in restraining Eckert into custody.

Eckert was later found to have a Milwaukee M18 Fuel Drill Kit, valued at $399 and a DeWalt Compact Brushless Drill/Driver Kit, valued at $199, were recovered. He was charged for shoplifting, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a hypodermic syringe.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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