An Ocean County man is facing several years behind bars in connection to multiple bias crimes last year.

Authorities say on Thursday, 35-year-old Ron Carr of Manchester Township pleaded guilty to charges of arson, bias intimidation, and two counts of criminal mischief.

When he is sentenced in August, the State will seek a seven-year term in state prison.

Bias Crime Spree in Manchester Township, NJ

On the night of June 6th, 2023, officers with the Manchester Township Police Department responded to the area of Pine Lake Park for reports of vandalism to residential homes.

There, they found 14 houses that had been vandalized with spray paint, some with Nazi symbolism, and they obtained a description of the suspect behind the acts.

At 3:00 the following morning, officers were again called to Pine Lake Park for a report of a structure fire. That structure, a house, was destroyed, three other homes suffered heat damage, and the fire spread to a nearby wooded area.

Cops at the scene learned that a person who matched the description of the suspect in the earlier incidents was on foot in the area. A short time later, officers located Carr at Commonwealth Boulevard and Larchmont Street where he was taken into custody.

An investigation revealed that Carr was responsible for the vandalism to the homes on June 6th and the arson that destroyed the home on June 7th.

NJAG Platkin Speaks

State Attorney General Matthew Platkin said in a statement shortly after the incidents,

This crime spree and the antisemitism that it expressed caused pain, destruction, shock and fear among the residents of Manchester Township. No community in the State of New Jersey should feel vulnerable or anxious in the face of acts of intolerance. No resident should feel their personal safety or their home is threatened by bigotry, persecution and violence. This will not stand, and I commend the law enforcement professionals from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Manchester Township Police Department, and the Division of Criminal Justice for their dogged pursuit of the suspect and this quick arrest.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer thanked the 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.

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