RNJ News Department

Budd Lake woman accused of stealing cigarettes and lottery tickets arrested

MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Morris County) – A Budd Lake woman suspected of stealing numerous packs of cigarettes and several lottery tickets, on multiple occasions, from a Flanders business has been arrested.

On Friday at 7:36 p.m., township police responded to the Dollar and Party Mart, located at 50 International Drive South, for the report of a past-tense burglary, police said.

The officer met with the business owners, who advised that earlier in the day, while opening the store, they noticed several lottery tickets and packs of cigarettes were missing from the store, police said.

A check of the store surveillance system showed a female enter the store through the front door utilizing a key, and remove lottery tickets and cigarette packs. Further review of surveillance footage showed the same individual entering the store in the same manner on January 29, February 1 and February 8 also taking lottery tickets and cigarettes, police said.

Through the course of the investigation which continued on Saturday, it was determined that another burglary took place in the early hours on February 11, also committed by the same individual, again taking cigarettes and lottery tickets, police said.

The officers were able to identify the suspect as Christa M. Congdon, 46, of Budd Lake, NJ, who was a past employee of the store, police said.

As the officer was responding to Congdon’s residence, the officer observed Congdon’s vehicle traveling on Village Way in Budd Lake. The officer then initiated a motor vehicle stop of the vehicle in the area of Old Budd Lake Road, police said.

The officer made contact with the driver, who was identified as Congdon, and the officer observed multiple lottery tickets in plain view in the center console of the vehicle, police said.

Congdon was also wearing the same hat and shoes that were seen in the surveillance video. She was escorted back to her residence, and a search was conducted. The search yielded multiple lottery tickets and cigarette packs matching items that were taken from the Dollar and Party Mart store, police said.

Congdon was charged with burglary, theft of movable property, possession of burglary tools, possession of stolen property and tampering with evidence. She was released pending a court hearing.

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By: Jay Edwards
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