Toms River Police credit external surveillance video from a business where two people broke in and allegedly stole $2,700.00 worth of scratch off lottery tickets and $500.00 worth of Marlboro cigarettes.

Officers were dispatched to Bombay Food an International Grocery on Route 166 Wednesday at 6:50 AM for a reported burglary.

The Manager, Mohamed Elgendy, told police that just after he opened up for the day he discovered the rear door to the business had been pried open and three display cases containing $2,700.00 worth of scratch off lottery tickets along with $500.00 of Marlboro cigarettes were stolen from the counter area.

While reviewing external surveillance video from Bombay and other adjacent businesses Michael Morgan and Erika Cruz were identified by police as the suspects and arrested hours later.

As police continued to investigate the incident they found out that Morgan and Cruz immediately cashed in tickets totaling $600.00 and attempted to cash in additional tickets at other local convenience stores but were unsuccessful as the lottery commission had already shut down the stolen tickets reported by Bombay Foods. 

Detective Mark Bajada signed complaints against both Morgan and Cruz for burglary and theft.

Morgan was housed in the Ocean County Jail and Cruz was released on her own recognizance. 

"The success of this investigation was a direct result of the multiple surveillance cameras that were available to police that recorded the suspects and the crime in progress," Toms River Police Spokeswoman Jillian Messina said. "We encourage all residents and business owners who have surveillance cameras to register them with our Operation WatchDog program to continue to assist us in solving crime and forcing would be criminals to have second thoughts about committing crime in our community!"