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Tourists robbed in Carlstadt, suspect found in Meadowlands marshes

Photo Credit: Courtesy CARLSTADT PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A manhunt ended in the marshes of the Meadowlands early this morning when Carlstadt police and a Bergen County Sheriff’s K9 unit found an ex-con who authorities said robbed a group of tourists from Virginia hours earlier.

Three of the four victims were walking back with two six packs of beer from Redd’s Restaurant to the nearby Econo Lodge on Washington Avenue shortly after arriving in town when they were accosted at knifepoint around 1:30 a.m., Carlstadt Detective John Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.

The robber, who was wearing a ski mask and pointing a switchblade, took $540 in cash and left the beer, Cleary said.

He also told one of the victims, after finding Virginia identification in his wallet, that he knows people there who would kill the man if he called police, the detective added.

As they were headed back to the hotel, the robber tried claiming a fourth victim — the driver of their bus.

The bus driver told police he confronted her after she parked behind the Valero station. However, Cleary said, she whacked him with her handbag and he ran off.

“Thankfully, none of the victims was hurt,” he said.

Carlstadt police immediately set up a perimeter and called in the sheriff’s dog. Wood-Ridge and East Rutherford police, hearing the call, joined in the search.

Eventually, the dog led police to 40-year-old Scott Recanati, who Cleary said had been hiding in the marshes.

Recanati, who had been free on $2,500 bail following an arrest on stalking charges in Wallington last month, surrendered without incident, the detective said.

Police also recovered the mask and knife, Cleary told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

A warrant was being drawn up to search Recanati’s room at the Econo Lodge, where he’d also been staying.

Meanwhile, a judge ordered that he be held on $485,000 bail.

The charges:

  • first-degree robbery (four counts);
  • aggavated assault (four counts);
  • making terroristic threats (four counts):
  • theft;
  • resisting arrest;
  • hindering arrest (two counts);
  • weapons possession (two counts),

MUGSHOT: Courtesy CARLSTADT PD

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