By JOHN T. WARD
An intensive manhunt for two suspected burglars in Little Silver ended early Wednesday afternoon with no evidence of a crime or suspects, police Chief Dan Shaffery tells redbankgreen.
Having swarmed the area with cops and search dogs from half a dozen jurisdictions, police called off the search at 12:50 p.m., less than two hours after a nearby resident reported a suspicious male in a neighbor’s backyard, Shaffery said.
Shaffery said the incident began with an 11 a.m. call to police by a resident of Queens Drive South, who reported seeing a man in dark clothes and a hooded sweatshirt in the rear yard of a neighboring property fronting on Prospect Avenue.
“He called it in, and rightfully so,” said Shaffery, who has been trumpeting the importance of residents reporting suspicious activities in the wake of a recent string of burglaries.
Police officers, who arrived on the scene within four minutes, found no suspects, but in canvasing the area, came upon a contractor who reported the possible presence of two suspicious males, Shaffery said.
That set off the hunt, which brought in help from Red Bank, Shrewsbury, Fair Haven, Long Branch and the Monmouth County Sheriff’s office, the last two of which loaned search dogs for the effort.
Because the homes in the area abut swamp and woodlands, police dove into the thicket, hoping to find the man or men. Two Little Silver officers in particular ended up “full of mud” from the effort, Shaffery said.
Police also checked nearby homes and ran every license plate of unexplained vehicles parked in the area, he said.
But the police and dogs found no evidence of a getaway or of a crime, he said.
“I’m sure there was somebody there,” Shaffery said of the initial report, “but we haven’t been unable to uncover any evidence of criminal activity.”
Shaffery said residents should not take the result to mean they should not call in on suspicions.
“Better safe than sorry,” he said. “I would never discourage anyone from calling.”