Demolitions Workers Accused Of Looting Fire-Damaged Apartments

PERTH AMBOY – Police arrested two demolitions workers on Monday who allegedly stole wallets and a video camera from a fire-damaged apartment building on State Street.

On Monday, July 9 at 3:50 p.m. Police arrested Leroy Williams, 69, of Landing and Robert Bace, 63 of Port Murray. Williams was charged with theft, while Bace was charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

A victim of the fire alerted Sergeant Andy Montalvo and Officer Rick Zaleski to the alleged wrongdoing at the State Street apartment building that was being demolished.

The witness told police that he saw Williams coming out of a first floor window with numerous wallets as Bace instructed “get the money, get the money.” The witness took photos and made video recordings with his cell phone, according to police. The witness also told Montalvo that he had observed Williams remove a black case and place it in a red Ford pick-up truck that was parked across the street from the fire scene. Inside the vehicle, police found a Sony Handi-Cam video camera located within a black case.

Both Williams and Bace were placed under arrest and all the properties confiscated. Three separate victims were located and their property identified, police said. In addition to the items, the victims reported a total of $900 in cash was missing from within the wallets.

Both Williams and Bace were released pending a court appearance, and have been prohibited from returning to the work site. The charges against the defendants are merely accusations; they are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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