RED BANK: FIRE HERO ARRESTED FOR THEFTS

Robert Womble at Red Bank borough hall in December, 2011, when he was honored for heroism. (Click to enlarge)

A Red Bank man cited for heroism in the 2011 fire that killed a cousin of William ‘Count’ Basie was arrested Tuesday for two car burglaries, borough police said.

Robert Womble, 52, faces charges of stealing valuables from a vehicle parked on East Westside Avenue on May 22 and from another on West Sunset Avenue eight days later, police said.

Womble was one of two men who entered the burning home of 64-year-old Phyllis Rudrow on Drs. James Parker Boulevard on September 18, 2011, pulling her to safety from the smoke-filled structure.

Rudrow died of her injuries four days later.

Womble and Kristopher Parker of Long Branch, then 31, were cited by Mayor Pasquale Menna and the borough council three months later for what Menna called “an extraordinary act of self-sacrifice” in kicking in the back door of Rudrow’s house and rescuing her.

Womble, lifelong Red Banker and former high school sports star who lived next door to Rudrow in the Evergreen Terrace apartments, had known her all his life, he told redbankgreen at the time.

Captain Darren McConnell said Womble was arrested after an investigation by Detectives Wendy Samis and Juan Sardo turned up “a piece of his property” at the scene of the first car burglary.

A search warrant uncovered evidence that connected Womble to the second, McConnell said.

Neither car had been locked, and police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles.

Meantime, police are investigating a string of recent car burglaries and the theft of an automobile on the West Side for possible connections to Womble, McConnell said.

Womble was being held on $20,000 bail in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, McConnell said.

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