Police have charged the owner of a New Jersey pool maintenance company with theft of pool equipment.

Michael Kolwicz, the owner of Mike’s Custom Pools in Maple Shade, N.J., was arrested June 29 by the Eatontown Police Dept. He’s been accused of stealing more than $32,000 worth of pool equipment from 39 customers scattered among 12 communities.

The city of Eatontown, located in the northeastern corner of New Jersey, had not set a court date as of press time, and the investigation was still ongoing. Kolwicz is in the process of being charged in multiple jurisdictions.

According to Detective Lt. Lawrence Tyler of the Eatontown Police Department, Kolwicz stole 31 Polaris pool cleaners, 24 filters, one pool cover and a spa cover.

The initial investigation started toward the end of May following a complaint from a customer who accused Kolwicz of stealing their pool cleaner, Tyler said. The customer told police that Kolwicz stopped returning calls and was unreachable.

Tyler stated that initially the police were unable to locate Kolwicz.
Steve Walsh of Freehold, N.J., a township about 15 miles away from Eatontown, said he was one of the victims. His account of what occurred lines up closely with the first complaint the police received.

First, his pool cleaner and filter grid were stolen, he said, after which his cleaner disappeared.

“Mike’s Pools had actually, at the end of last season, without my permission, taken my Polaris vacuum for repair,” Walsh said. “When I inquired about it, they said, ‘Oh, we need to take it to fix it.’”

Walsh said he left the issue alone and paid Kolwicz a 50 percent deposit to open his pool in time for the season and continue a weekly maintenance plan.

According to Walsh, he was out $2,900 for his trouble — $1,400 for the service fees, $750 for a new cleaner and another $700 for a new filter grid.

As of press time, Mike Kolwicz remains in jail. It is unclear whether or not he has an attorney because one could not be located.