Police: Toms River home invader caught in the act

     Mark Paturzzio, 38, of Seaside Heights is being held in the Ocean County Jail after police captured him fleeing from a Toms River house with jewelry. (Image courtesy of the Toms River Police Department)

    Mark Paturzzio, 38, of Seaside Heights is being held in the Ocean County Jail after police captured him fleeing from a Toms River house with jewelry. (Image courtesy of the Toms River Police Department)

    A 38-year-old Seaside Heights man was captured by police around noon Monday while attempting to flee a house he had just burglarized in Toms River, police said.

    Police allege that Mark Paturzzio broke into a Hidden Brook Court while the 39-year-old female homeowner was upstairs in her bedroom alone, according to Ralph Stocco, Toms River Police Department spokesman. 

    The woman “heard several loud bangs and someone on the main level of her home,” Stocco said, adding that she immediately dialed 911 and locked herself in the bathroom.

    “While officers were en route she could hear the man rummaging around the first floor and then walk up the stairs to the second level,” the spokesman said. “Soon after this, she realized the intruder entered her master bedroom and was going through her dresser drawers.”

    Minutes later, several police officers, including Patrolmen Dan Brennan and Ryan Parente, arrived and formed a secure perimeter around the house, noticing that the patio glass door had been shattered, Stocco said. 

    Brennan apprehended Paturzzio as he attempted to flee out the same door while carrying a plastic bag containing several thousand dollars worth of jewelry from the house, according to the spokesman. 

    He is being held in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River on $50,000 bail.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.