Purse theft in Seaside Heights gains world-wide attention…

Seaside Heights Police Chief Tommy Boyd speaks to a sea of media regarding the Lucky Leo’s purse theft incident. The theft gained international attention after a security video revealed the act had been committed by a child who was forced into the act by her grandfather.

Seaside Heights was thrust into the international media’s limelight last week when a video of a shocking crime was picked up by security cameras in the Lucky Leo’s Arcade. The tape later revealed that incident had occurred just before closing time on Septemer 16th. Shortly after this, an employee’s purse was discovered missing behind a counter in the arcade. Staff of the arcade were puzzled, as the purse was not easily accessible, and was behind a swinging door that has an alarm sensor attached to it that sounds a shrill noise if opened. Upon review of the security tape, it was clear to see that an adult had coached a small child into committing the act. What appears to be a woman with two children, a boy about seven and a girl about four, can be seen. The adult is seen giving the small girl instructions, and then is seen pushing the child underneath the alarmed swing-gate. When the child didn’t get through fast enough, the adult can be clearly seen kicking the child the remaining way. Once this tape was discovered, its shocking details were sent to the media. First FOX news reported on the tape, and soon its competition, which includes every television and media outlet in Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey, were hot on the story. Soon, other media outlets as of type (television, print, internet) all over the country picked-up on the unusual story, and it was widely being given comparisons to the famed story, Oliver Twist. Even television crime show powerhouse America’s Most Wanted with host John Walsh (who is known to especially hate criminals who exploit children) wanted to see this tape. Satellite trucks and news vans of all types soon descended to Seaside Heights. Police Chief Tommy Boyd held two press conferences with a sea of media surrounding him. Seaside Heights Detectives Steve Korman and Joe Engrassia investigated the matter. It was discovered that the victim’s ATM card was used at 7-11 in Teaneck, New Jersey. According to Chief Boyd, some “old-fashioned police work” on behalf of his Detective Bureau (with the help of other agencies) led to the name of a suspect: Daniel P. Twoney, 52, of Teaneck. Twoney is the maternal grandfather of the children, and was watching them (supposedly) to give the children’s mother a break. But police believe that Twomey planned to use the children to help commit crimes, and was disguised at the time of the crime, having what appears to be shoulder length hair, and wearing big clothing unsuitable for the warm weather conditions of this day. The New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services investigated, and determined that the children were safe, and in the custody of their mother who was apparently unaware of the crime. Twomey, however, was no where around. He became a wanted man, with a $150,000 bounty. After a few days on the lam, Twomey was arrested on Saturday September 29th by the Riverside Police Department in Greenwich, Connecticut. He was found asleep in his car in a McDonald’s parking lot, and was said to have been tracked down by a signal from his cell phone. He is being brought back to Ocean County to face charges of using a minor to commit a crime.

CRACKED THE CASE Seaside Heights Detectives Stephen Korman(far right) and Joe Engrassia (center) are seen talking to the media in regards to the Lucky Leo’s purse theft case.

Daniel Twomey, 52, has been arrested by the Riverside Police in Greenwich, Connecticut after several days as a wanted man in regards to the Lucky Leo’s purse theft case. Twomey is alleged to have directed his 4-year old granddaughter to steal a Coach pocketbook from behind the counter of the Lucky Leo’s arcade on September 16th. The incident was picked up by security cameras and the film was broadcast worldwide.


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