police-blotter-smallA 19-year-old Fair Haven man was in custody after admitting to a spree of burglaries early Tuesday morning in Colts Neck and Tinton Falls, according to the Asbury Park Press.

In addition, Carl Vonpier faces a charge of false reporting after telling Colts Neck police that he’d been forced at gunpoint to participate in a break-in at the Colts Neck Shopping Center, where cops had caught him with tools and a fake gun.

His claim triggered a manhunt — one involving a helicopter and search dogs — for a suspect who, police say did not exist according to the Press account.

From the Press:

Sgt. Kevin Walsh was on a routine patrol when he discovered what appeared to be a burglary in process at a business in the Colts Neck Shopping Center on Route 34 around 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday, according to Colts Neck Police Detective Sgt. Joseph Whitehead.

Walsh found a man identified as Carl Vonpier, 19, in possession of an imitation handgun, two knives, tools and what appeared to be the proceeds of several other burglaries.

In his initial interview, Vonpier told Walsh he was threatened at gunpoint by a 17-year-old whom he said forced him to assist in a burglary, sparking a manhunt by police from Colts Neck, Freehold Borough, Tinton Falls, a Holmdel K-9 Unit, and a New Jersey State Police helicopter, Whitehead said.

Vonpier provided police with a name for the juvenile and told police the boy was armed with a 9mm handgun when he fled the scene prior to their arrival, Whitehead explained.

Vonpier was carrying an imitation handgun at the time of his arrest described as a black semiautomatic with a clip, weighted, made of metal and plastic, but with no red safety tip on front, Whitehead said.

Under additional questioning, Vonpier eventually confessed to police there was no other accomplice and he made a false report, and also admitted to the burglary there and several car burglaries in Tinton Falls earlier in the night, Whitehead said.

Vonpier was charged with a total of 12 counts, including burglary, attempted burglary, criminal mischief, possession of stolen property, possession of two knives for unlawful purpose, possession of an imitation firearm, possession of burglary tools, false reporting. Bail was set at $90,000, and additional charges are pending in Tinton Falls, Whitehead said.