EXCLUSIVE: A snowplow driver with a strong sense of civic duty interrupted a burglary at a Carlstadt commercial building, then helped lead police to the arrests of three men.
A fourth remained at large, authorities said this afternoon.
The contractor was plowing a commercial lot on Starke Road after a Dec. 14 snowstorm when he spotted the four men next to a parked car, along with a ladder beneath, the window of a local business.
Seeing him, they immediately drove off, Detective John Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
But he followed them, Cleary said.
The good Samaritan drove through various side streets and onto Route 120, dialing 911 and supplying a description of their vehicle and the license plate number as he tailed them, the detective said.
East Rutherford police then stopped the group.
Carlstadt police charged them all with trespassing and possession of burglary tools, then began investigating.
One of the four turned out to be carrying keys to washing machines — connecting the group to the business under whose window they’d been camped, Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Police obtained arrest warrants for each of them.
Then, on Tuesday, Jersey City police arrested 27-year-old Leonardo Mora-Diaz ( above, right ) at his Hutton Street home in Jersey City.
Yesterday, two others showed up for the court appearances on their summones, Cleary said. They were identified as Richard O. Pena-Rodriguez, 28 ( above, middle ), of Bergenline Avenue in Union City and Joel baez, 27 ( above, left ), of West 130th Street in Harlem.
All three were being held on $20,000 bail each in the Bergen County Jail, charged with the original counts as well as burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, hindering and obstruction.
“Thanks to a determined witness, a crime was prevented and arrests were made,” Cleary said. “We’re grateful for the service.”
He also thanked Jersey City police for arresting Mora-Diaz.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy CARLSTADT PD
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