SEASIDE HEIGHTS - There is a discrepancy involving missing novelty items from an Army-Navy store that first responders broke into during the height of Superstorm Sandy for much-needed supplies.
Seaside Heights Borough Administrator John Camera says residents often foot the bill for items the town doesn't have. First responders were given clearance to break into Shore Army-Navy during the storm to gather clothing, boots and other necessities. The responders broke the glass and opened the door to get into the store for the supplies.
Most of the items, both necessities and novelties, were unaccounted for after the storm. A total of about $25,000 worth of shot glasses, novelty license plates and other items clearly not needed for storm response were reported missing from Shore Army-Navy.
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"They breached the store after calling the owner to try and let him know and got them in an atypical fashion, but in a way that was really needed," Camera says.
Seaside Heights has already reimbursed the store $185,000 for the needed items, and has signed off on the $25,000 discrepancy.
Officials think the missing merchandise could have been taken by looters.
The owners tell News 12 New Jersey that they are satisfied with the settlement and understand why the first responders did what they did.
Seaside Heights is waiting on reimbursement from FEMA, including the $185,000 in this case.