Two men were arrested on charges related to a number of alleged burglaries in what cops are calling "crimes of opportunity."
Paramus Police received a call from an alert neighbor about a suspicious-looking man exiting the rear of an Oradell Avenue residence at 3:30 p.m. on Monday. The caller also informed police that the man ran east toward River Edge, according to Paramus Police.
A short while later, cops received another call from a relative who was checking in on the currently unoccupied home. The relative noticed that something was amiss and phoned police. A laptop and an attaché case were reported as missing, cops said.
Paramus Police Officer Mark Pinajian spotted the man, later identified as 47-year-old George Allgeier of Paterson, on East Ridgewood Avenue near Kinderkamack Rd Road in Oradell where he was taken into custody, according to police.
Shortly after, a third call came in from an East Avenue resident reporting two laptops and a shopping bag containing a leather attaché case were missing from his house, said Detective Capt. Robert Guidetti.
Another man, 38-year-old Osvaldo Rodriguez of Newark, was found in the bushes outside a Forest Avenue home with a wallet and jewelry, determined to be from one of the burglaries.
The other stolen items were recovered in a car parked in the driveway of one of the burglarized homes, cops said.
Rodriguez faces two counts of burglary and is being held on $10,000 bond at the Bergen County Jail. Allgeier was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary and is being held on a $5,000 bond.
“The police believe that once they were inside the houses and took the property of the homeowners, they placed the property in the car and were also going to steal the car to leave the area. That is still under investigation,” said Guidetti.
Cops said both houses were unlocked at the time of the burglaries.
“These were crimes of opportunity,” said Guidetti. “It appears that the suspects went around trying doors and found a few unlocked. We credit the arrests to an alert neighbor.”
Paramus Police offer these tips that could help prevent such incidents:
- Make your home look occupied and make it difficult to break in.
- Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed. Even if it is for a short time, lock your doors.
- Leave lights on when you go out. If you are going to be away for a length of time, connect some lamps to automatic timers to turn them on in the evening and off during the day.
- Keep your garage door closed and locked.
- Have adequate exterior lighting. A motion-sensitive light is recommended for backyards.
- Trim trees and shrubs so that they cannot be used as hiding places for intruders.
- Consider installing a burglar alarm system.