Children attending Sunday School at a church in southern Ocean County were briefly placed in lockdown this past weekend following the report of a man in the area who was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Luckily, the suspicious person turned out to be just a person out jogging.

The Stafford Township Police Department says Sunday morning, they received a phone call about a suspicious man in the area of McKinley Avenue and Doc Cramer Blvd.

The man was reportedly wearing an orange flannel shirt underneath what appeared to be a bulletproof vest.

Children attending Sunday School activities at the nearby Saint Mary’s Parish Center were briefly placed in lockdown as a precaution and parents were asked to remain in their vehicles until the area was deemed safe.

After searching the area, officers found the suspicious man in question who, as it turned out, had been exercising in the area while wearing a weighted vest, which officers verified to be true.

No suspicious activity was found and events in the area quickly returned to normal.

The Stafford Township Police Department would like to commend the citizen who called in the suspicious activity. When tragic incidents occur, all too often it is discovered that suspicious activity had been previously observed, but a citizen was hesitant to make the call. As a Police Department, we would much rather take the time to proactively investigate a suspicious call, than respond to a tragic incident that has already occurred.

Not the First Time Weighted Vests Cause Problems

This is not the first time a person wearing a weighted vest for exercise purposes has caused a lockdown.

In September 2022, a school in Wildwood Crest was placed in lockdown following the report of a man in the area who was possibly wearing a bulletproof vest.

Like the case this past weekend in Ocean County, the man in question was wearing a weighted vest while training for an upcoming marathon.

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