ANOTHER CVP SCOOP: An ex-con from Lodi known for specializing in high-end tire and rim thefts is back behind bars after Bergen County and Saddle Brook police detectives caught him unloading a set at a Route 17 repair lot in Carlstadt last night.
Christopher J. Mason, 48, immediately owned up to thefts, which he said occurred in Totowa, as well as to several others in Bergen County, New York and Massachusetts — all to support a cocaine habit, BCPD Lt. James Mullin told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.
The hunt for a suspect began when Saddle Brook Police turned up surveillance video of a man operating an older model white Chevy van as they investigated three separate thefts of truck tires from commercial businesses on Kenny Place beginning in August.
The total value of the hauls was roughly $12,000, Mullin said.
At the same time, Bergen County Police were looking into a pair of similar thefts from businesses in Teterboro on Nov. 26. Roughly $10,800 worth of tires and rims were snatched in those, the lieutenant said.
As in the Saddle Brook incidents, an older model white van was reported seen.
Both departments were running through their lists of usual suspects when a tipster pointed the BCPD to Mason.
Released from prison in March 2011, Mason was spotted leaving his house last night in a white 1994 Chevy van that investigators said had been parked in his driveway.
They tailed him straight to the repair lot, Mullin said.
Besides copping to the Totota theft, Mason “was cooperative and informed detectives of several other thefts,” the lieutenant said.
Mason was being held on a combined $35,000 bail for three counts of theft from Saddle Brook and two counts of theft and one of receiving stolen property from the BCPD.
More charges are expected as authorities in three states compare notes, Mullin said.
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