Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that on January 19, Jorge Euxaque-Ballesteros, 25, of Toms River, was charged with Aggravated Arson and Burglary in connection with an incident that occurred in Lakewood Township on January 19.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, on January 19, at approximately 2:00 a.m., Officers from the Lakewood Township Police Department and Lakewood Township Fire Department were dispatched to a business on Cross Street in reference to a sprinkler system alarm.
Prosecutor Billhimer said that firefighters were able to extinguish a fire in the basement of the business.
An investigation conducted by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Squad, Ocean County Fire Marshal’s Office, Lakewood Township Police Department Detective Bureau, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, determined that the cause of the fire was incendiary by an unknown person using an open flame to ignite cardboard and paper in the basement.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Euxaque-Ballesteros - a former employee of the business who was recently terminated - was responsible for setting the fire.
According to Prosecutor Billhimer, Euxaque-Ballesteros was taken into custody in Toms River later in the day by Detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Arson Squad and Lakewood Police Department.
He was transported to Lakewood Police Headquarters, processed, and is currently lodged in the Ocean County Jail pending a detention hearing.