SOUTH BRUNSWICK — An Ohio painter is on the run after police say he stole $24,000 worth of tools from contractors remodeling a Route 1 hotel.

Staff at the Sonesta Suites on Thursday morning found a large number of tools in the room being used by Travis Mollett, 33, who works for a commercial painting contractor, according to South Brunswick police. The tools had been stored in several shipping containers.

Two vehicles had also been broken into and items were stolen. Over $24,000 in tools were reported to police as stolen earlier Thursday morning, police said.

When the contractors whose tools were missing confronted Mollett, he ran off as police arrived.

Travis Mollett
Travis Mollett (South Brunswick police)

Searching for the suspect

Officers set up a perimeter around the hotel and two K9 dogs tracked Mollett's scent heading south on Route 1 but lost it. The search was ended around 3:30 p.m. Mollett remained missing as of Friday morning, according to police.

Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office obtained a warrant and entered the room and recovered the stolen tools and equipment. Mollett will be charged in connection with the thefts when he is found, according to police.

South Brunswick Police asked anyone with information about Mollett's location to call them at 732- 329-4646.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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