Police may have Early Bird Burglar in custody
A suspect old enough to live in a senior community has been arrested for burglary and possibly tied to a 3-year string of break-ins targeting age-restricted neighborhoods.
James Eichele, 61, was arrested inside a Brick retirement community last Friday. Eichele is only charged with one burglary so far, but a police source says he's suspected in as many as 200 others.
Police from more than a dozen departments joined forces more than year ago to focus on the break-ins. Authorities had dubbed the culprit the Early Bird Burglar due to a penchant for breaking into empty homes during the early evening when retirees were out at dinner.
Burglary victim Delfina DeSimone says she can now rest easy.
"I'm relieved," says DeSimone. "I'm hoping it puts somewhat of an end to these intruders."
At least one retiree victim says he'd have liked a chance with Eichele before police got to him.
"I'd love to get him alone," says Jack Montefusco.