2 Men Charged For Setting Home On Fire In Ocean County

Thomas Lester, 20, of Tuckerton, and Ethan Salter, 19, of Little Egg Harbor Township, were each charged Friday with Aggravated Arson, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Arson, Arson, Burglary, Conspiracy to Commit Burglary, two counts of Criminal Mischief, and Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Mischief, in connection with a structure fire that occurred in Little Egg Harbor Township earlier this year

On January 8, 2024, at approximately 2:15 a.m., the Little Egg Harbor Township Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to a report of a structure fire on National Union Boulevard.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire.  A thorough and extensive investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, New Jersey State Fire Marshal’s Office, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department Detective Bureau, determined that the fire originated in the living room of the structure; the cause of the fire was determined to be incendiary by an unknown person or persons utilizing an open flame to available combustibles.

An investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad, Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Squad, and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department Detective Bureau revealed that Lester and Salter were the individuals responsible for setting the fire.

On March 7, 2024, Lester and Salter were taken into custody without incident at their respective residences by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit-Arson Squad and Little Egg Harbor Township Police Department Detective Bureau.  They were transported to the Ocean County Jail, where they presently remain lodged pending a detention hearing.

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