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Public Information Office: (609)882-2000
Lt. Al Della Fave  X6514
SFC Kevin Rehmann  X6515
Sgt. Gerald Lewis   X6516
Tpr. Stephen Jones   X6513

June 21, 2004

"Hole Through the Wall Gang" Arrested
State Police and East Rutherford Police Arrest Organized Burglary Group

East Rutherford - - State Police Detectives and officers from the East Rutherford Police Department today jointly released details of the arrests of 12 people for breaking through the rear wall of a warehouse in a highly organized burglary attempt on Saturday night. The announcement was given in the parking lot of Grand Success Clothing Warehouse on Branca Road, which is the location of this latest break-in.

State Police and East Rutherford P.D. were working together on a security detail to check the industrial areas of the township in response to a number of burglaries. Over the past two years, ten of these break-ins and thefts involved subjects who knocked holes through exterior walls to gain access to building contents.

Teams of state troopers and East Rutherford officers were checking a chemical production plant in the Murry Hill Drive section of a business complex at approximately 9:30 p.m. when they heard a loud hammering at a nearby building. At the same time, East Rutherford radio dispatch alerted officers to an alarm sounding at the Grand Success Clothing Warehouse, 25 Branca Rd.

While en route to the warehouse, officers encountered and stopped two suspicious vehicles in separate places. One was a passenger van leaving the area of the alarm from an area with very low traffic volume. An East Rutherford officer approached the van an observed the occupants to be breathing deeply, sweating profusely, wearing wet and dirty clothes. The officer held the occupants at the scene of the stop until the alarm could be checked because he was aware that the area behind the warehouse in question was bordered by thick marshes.

State troopers stopped and questioned an SUV occupied by two females leaving the area. This vehicle had been seen earlier during the evening, prior to the reason for suspicion.

When officers checked the clothing warehouse, they discovered a 3-foot diameter hole through the exterior wall leading to the inside of the warehouse. There were also sledgehammers, bolt cutters and picks left on the ground in the area where the hole was made. Officers standing by the SUV heard transmissions on two-way radios inside the vehicle. An unknown subject was warning everyone to get out of the area. That subject has not yet been located.

Sufficient information was uncovered to allow the arrest of all occupants of both vehicles. The suspects were charged with burglary, theft and conspiracy. Of the subjects listed below, numbers one through ten were lodged in Bergen County Jail pending court proceedings. Bail amounts varied.

Detectives hope that this investigation uncovers information that will help solve other similar burglaries. Forensic examination of the burglary tools and location will be compared to latent evidence collected at other sites of similar incidents.

Arrested were:

  1. Juan Molina, M/38, 5902 Kennedy Boulevard, West New York, NJ
  2. David Garcia, M/32, 182 Tiebout, Bronx, NY
  3. Carlos Ordonex, M/29, 5800 Bergenline Ave., West New York, NJ
  4. Julio Guzman, M/33, 2500 Belmont Ave., Bronx, NY
  5. Lennyn Domingues Escalante, M/31, 328 145th St. Bronx, NY
  6. Juan Cabezas, M/36, 2315 Walton, Bronx, NY
  7. Santiago Araujo, M/51, 1518 43rd St., North Bergen, NJ
  8. Carlos Romero, M/43, 2229 Valentine Ave., Bronx, NY
  9. Oscar Bera, M/48, 2008 45th St., North Bergen, NJ
  10. Pedro Castillo, M/46, Tibacen, Bronx, NY
  11. F/20, Guttenburg, NJ
  12. F/31, North Bergen, NJ

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