A thief chose the wrong place for a heist this week when he broke into the home of Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.
"It's not nice to be a victim, obviously, but at least we knew exactly what happened," said Mastronardy.
Ironically, the Chief had installed security cameras on his property only two weeks before the break-in. Sure enough, his surveillance video showed a man crawl into a downstairs window he'd forced open.
The Chief's wife came home right after suspect made off with some jewelry and cash.
"She could actually smell the cigarette smoke. He smoked a cigarette while in the house and that's what alerted her that something was astray," said Mastronardy.
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Toms River police made two arrests late Wednesday night in the burglary case and recovered some of the stolen goods too.
The Mastronardy home was one of five burglarized during the day Tuesday, including the home of Seaside Park's retired Police Chief, Bill Beining.
"It is very unusual," said Beining.
Coincidentally, the day after the break-in, Chief Mastronardy was part of a previously-planned meeting on how surveillance cameras are valuable crime-fighting tools.
He never expected to bring his own video as the proof.