Two men – one of whom is a New Jersey Department of Corrections inmate who escaped from a halfway house in Camden County about a week ago – were arrested in Lawrence Township on Sunday (April 1) after they were allegedly caught in possession of a car that had been stolen from Rossa Avenue in the township a few days earlier, township police spokesman Lt. Charles Edgar confirmed.
Brian E. Noch, 43, of Juniper Way, Hamilton Township, and Christopher J. Lipsett, 34, of Sunset Road, Manchester Township, were also charged with drug offenses after they were allegedly found with heroin and other contraband, according to Edgar.
He said it was 6:22 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, when residents of a home on Rossa Avenue called police to report that their 2004 Hyundai Sonata had been stolen. The vehicle, which had been left unlocked, was taken sometime between 6:30 p.m. the night before and about 6:15 a.m. that morning, he said.
Officer Richard Laird III was on patrol Sunday morning when he discovered the stolen car in the parking lot of the Mount’s Motel in the 2900 block of Brunswick Pike (Route 1), Edgar said. He said officers set up surveillance on the Hyundai and, a short time later, watched as Noch and Lipsett allegedly walked up, got inside the car and attempted to drive away.
Officers stopped the car from leaving and arrested Noch and Lipsett each on a charge of receiving stolen property.
Subsequent investigation by officers resulted in additional charges of possession of heroin, possession of hypodermic syringes and needles, and possession of drug paraphernalia against both men, Edgar said. He said Lipsett was also charged with possession of burglary tools.
According to New Jersey Department of Corrections records, Noch has been convicted of numerous charges over the years, including burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, eluding police and aggravated assault. According to published news accounts, Noch admitted in court in 2003 that he had tried to drive away from a police traffic stop in Trenton in September 2002 and nearly struck an officer with his car.
NJ DOC records show that Noch was lodged in state prison from March 2003 until September 2007, and that he returned to state prison in December 2007. He remained in state custody until he escaped from the Hope Hall residential community program in Camden County on March 23, according to NJ DOC records.