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Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on June 20, 2024, Ron Carr, 35, of Manchester Township, pled guilty to Arson, Bias Intimidation, and two counts of Criminal Mischief before the Honorable Guy P. Ryan, P.J.Cr.P., in connection with incidents that occurred in Manchester Township on June 6, 2023 and in the early morning hours of June 7, 2023.  At the time of his sentencing on August 16, 2024, the State will be seeking a term of seven years New Jersey State Prison (NJSP) as to the Arson charge, five years NJSP as to the Bias Intimidation charge, and 18 month NJSP terms for both Criminal Mischief charges.  The sentences are to run concurrently.


On June 6, 2023, at approximately 11:45 p.m., Officers from the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Pine Lake Park for reports of vandalism to residential homes.  Responding Officers discovered that 14 homes were vandalized with spray paint – some to include Nazi symbolism.  Officers obtained a description of the suspect believed to be responsible for the vandalism.


On June 7, 2023, at approximately 3:11 a.m., Manchester Township Police Officers were again summoned to the area of Pine Lake Park for a report of a structure fire.  The structure – a house – was destroyed in the fire; three additional homes suffered heat damage, and flames spread to the adjacent wooded area.  No injuries were reported.


Responding Officers received reports of an individual on foot in the vicinity of the fire.  That individual matched the description of the suspect in the earlier reported criminal mischief incidents.  A short time later, Officers located the suspect, later identified as Carr, in the area of Commonwealth Boulevard and Larchmont Street; he was taken into custody without incident.  Continuing investigation revealed that Carr was responsible for the vandalism to the homes on June 6th and the arson that destroyed the structure on June 7th.  Carr was transported to the Ocean County Jail, where he has been lodged since his apprehension.


Prosecutor Billhimer acknowledges the diligent efforts of Senior Assistant Prosecutor Ashley Angelo and New Jersey Deputy Attorney General Valerie Butler who are handling the case on behalf of the State, and commends the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Bias Crime Unit, New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice General Crimes Bureau, Manchester Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, for their collaborative efforts in connection with this investigation leading to Carr’s guilty pleas, and soon his state prison sentence.