On April 26th at 12:42pm, Barnegat police officers responded to the Barnegat Motel for a report of an armed robbery. Officers were advised that two male subjects had forced their way into a motel room armed with what appeared to be a handgun and demanded money. The subjects reportedly fought with a male occupant of the room before fleeing the area in a white Ford Crown Victoria.

Patrolman Bryan Nogowski located the Ford Crown Victoria unoccupied on Water Street approximately 15 minutes later. Officers immediately established a perimeter and, due to the large size of the wooded and marshy area, requested additional resources from surrounding agencies. Officers from the New Jersey State Police, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, Stafford Township Police Department, Ocean Township Police Department, and Little Egg Harbor Police Department responded to the scene to assist in maintaining the perimeter and searching for the subjects.

A New Jersey State Police helicopter was requested and responded to the scene as well as K9s from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and Little Egg Harbor Police Department. During the ensuing search operation, NJSP Troopers in the helicopter were able to locate both subjects who were attempting to flee the area through the difficult terrain. Officers on the ground were guided by the helicopter to the locations of the subjects who had split up. Both of the subjects- James Boone, 22, of Toms River, and Lance Alexander, 27, of Philadelphia, PA were taken into custody without incident.

The crime scene was processed by Ocean County Sheriff’s Department CSI. Officers at the motel recovered a black BB gun which may have been the weapon brandished during the robbery.

Alexander was charged with 1st degree robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and aggravated assault. He was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of $70,000 bail (no 10% option). Boone was charged with 2nd degree robbery and was lodged in the Ocean County Jail in default of $30,000 bail (no 10% option).