Englewood Cliffs car theft subject caught inside car, chief says


ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. —When Englewood Cliffs Police Sgt. Ronald Waldt turned around his patrol car to check out a suspicious vehicle in the early morning hours of Nov. 29, the car took off down Fairview Avenue at a high rate of speed, evading capture, Police Chief Michael Cioffi told Northern Valley Press.

But borough officers stayed on the scene, converging on the neighborhood with the help of a Bergen County Sheriff’s Department K9 unit. Checking neighborhood cars, looking for fingerprints in the early morning condensation, they soon found their mark—a 21-year-old Newark man was hiding inside a car on Summit Street with the proceeds from the burglaries of three nearby cars, Cioffi said.

As a “crime spree” of stolen high end cars sweeps Bergen County, Englewood Cliffs police are optimistic they will soon arrest more suspects in this case, Cioffi said.

“The whole tour, everybody worked together. They protected the town and they did a great job,” said Cioffi. “They worked as a team and it resulted in maintaining the safety of our residents. Because of them, we stopped burglaries that were happening.”

Lt. Gerard McDermott said the case underscores a critical point for local residents—it’s important to lock your car at nighttime.

“Tell people not to leave key fobs in the vehicle,” McDermott told Northern Valley Press. “People have this false sense of security with these key fobs.”

The suspect found in the car is charged with burglary to auto and possession of stolen property, said Cioffi, declining to release his name.

The incident came a month after borough police recovered a car in an Irvington parking lot, with the help of a GPS tracking device, that had been stolen on Oct. 26. The car was stolen from a residence, recovered and returned within the period of 48 hours, McDermott said.

“In the last couple of weeks, our guys have really been doing an outstanding job,” Cioffi said.