• Gabriel Donio

Friel: ‘distraction’ burglars sought

Police seeking information


Police are investigating what they called a “distraction” burglary that occurred on the 500 block of Grape Street at 2:48 p.m. on August 13, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said. (THG/Kristin Guglietti)

HAMMONTON—Police are investigating what they called a “distraction” burglary that occurred on the 500 block of Grape Street at 2:48 p.m. on August 13, Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel said.


Officer Harry Valentin was dispatched to the 500 block of Grape Street regarding a suspicious person call, Friel said.


The caller said approximately 15 minutes prior to calling, an unknown white male rang his doorbell, claiming to be a utility worker, Friel said.


Friel said the unknown male asked to see his backyard, and was shown the rear of the property.


During the conversation, the homeowner believes that an unidentified person entered the residence and removed a diamond ring, Friel said.


Police are investigating, Friel said. The description of the vehicle seen in the area was a Chrysler Town & Country van, dark in color, Friel said.


Valentin is the investigating officer, Friel said.


Anyone with any information about the burglary should contact the Hammonton Police Department at (609) 561-4000.


In other police news, officers made a number of driving while under the influence (DWI) arrests during the past week, including the following, Friel said.


• On August 18 at 11:04 p.m., at the intersection of Third Street and Caldwell Avenue, a motor vehicle stop became a driving while under the influence (DWI) arrest, Friel said.


Officer Kyle Ambrozaitis stopped a vehicle for being unregistered on N. Third Street near Caldwell Avenue, Friel said. In speaking with the driver, Pedro Sanchez, 30, of Blackwood, Ambrozaitis detected the strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath and person, and his eyes appeared to be bloodshot, Friel said.


Sanchez was arrested, transported to the Hammonton Police Department for processing and charged with the following motor vehicle offenses: driving while under the influence, unregistered vehicle, reckless driving, careless driving and refusal to submit to breath testing, Friel said.


He was released as per John’s Law pending a court appearance in Hammonton Joint Municipal Court, Friel said.


• On August 20 at 12:33 a.m., in a separate and unrelated arrest also made by Ambrozaitis, he observed a vehicle failing to stop at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and West Orchard Street, Friel said.


The vehicle was stopped in the 300 block of N. Second Street, and Ambrozaitis spoke with the driver, Pascual Baltazar, 19, of Hammonton, who appeared disoriented and confused, with slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath and person, Friel said.


Friel said Baltazar was placed under arrest for operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol, transported to police headquarters for processing and charged with the following motor vehicle violations: driving while under the influence, unlicensed driver, failure to possess the registration, failure to possess the insurance card, careless driving, reckless driving, failing to maintain lane of travel, disregard of stop sign, open container of alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle and failure to wear his seat belt, Friel said.


He was released as per John’s Law pending a court appearance in Hammonton Joint Municipal Court, Friel said.


Ambrozaitis was the arresting and charging officer in both incidents, Friel said.


• On August 20 at 1:27 a.m. at the intersection of Bellevue Avenue and Elvins Lane, Eduardo Tolentino-Marin, 18, of Hammonton was found to have a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his breath, Friel said.


He was placed under arrest, transported to police headquarters for processing and charged with the following motor vehicle violations: driving while under the influence, careless driving, reckless driving, failing to maintain lane of travel and unregistered vehicle, Friel said.


Tolentino-Marin was released as per John’s Law pending a court appearance in Hammonton Joint Municipal Court, Friel said.


Hoffman was the arresting and charging officer, Friel said.


• On August 20 at 11:48 p.m., in a separate and unrelated incident, police received a call of a subject traveling the wrong way in a vehicle on Horton Street, Friel said.


Hoffman responded and located a white Mercury stopped in a parking spot, Friel said. The driver was identified as Juan Barahona-Cardona, 23, of Egg Harbor Twp., Friel said.


“He was slumped over the steering wheel with the keys in the ignition,” Friel said.


Barahona-Cardona had a strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from his person, and it was observed that there were multiple open alcoholic beverage containers in the passenger seat, Friel said.


He was placed under arrest, transported to police headquarters for processing and charged with driving while under the influence and other related summonses, Friel said.


Hoffman was the arresting and charging officer, Friel said.



This report is comprised of arrests and investigations made by the men and women of local enforcement. All suspects and arrested are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.