Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, Plumsted Township Police Chief Earl Meroney and Plumsted Township Schools Superintendent Gerald North today announced the arrest of Matthew Vanderbeek, 19, of Cream Ridge, who was charged with 3rd degree Terroristic Threats with a Threat to Kill and 2nd degree Attempting to Possess a Firearm for an Unlawful Purpose.
According to authorities, on June 19th, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Major Crimes Unit Det. Brant Uricks joined with Plumsted Township Police Det. Anthony Ringle ensued an investigate into an alleged threat made by a New Egypt High School student to shoot students and staff at the school’s graduation ceremony.
The investigation by the partnering detectives quickly identified Matthew Vanderbeek as the suspect who allegedly utilized social media to communicate his intention to shoot school students and staff. A search warrant was approved and authorized to search Vanderbeek’s Hyacinth Court residence to check for weapons, additional evidence of the crime and to attempt to seize any communications made via phone or computer.
Officials say the search warrant was executed by the initial investigating agencies, with assistance from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office’s CSI, as well as, their K-9 capable of detecting the presence of firearms or ammunition. The search warrant and follow-up investigation verified the threats by Vanderbeek and discovered that he was attempting to obtain a firearm. He was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Ocean County Jail where he was lodged pending a detention hearing.
The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office wants to make it clear that there is no present threat to the Plumsted Township School system or the graduation ceremony.