YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Wood-Ridge police today said they arrested the accomplice of a Carlstadt charged last week in connection with dozens of car burglaries in Wood-Ridge, Hasbrouck Heights, Carlstadt and Lodi.
More than 20 of the break-ins happened in Wood-Ridge in June and July, Detective Joseph Rutigliano told CLIFFVIEW PILOT shortly after the arrest of 22-year-old Christopher Morton ( above, left ).
The primary suspect in the case, Nicholas Stallone ( right ), 20, was arrested last Thursday, he said.
Stallone “used two stolen credit cards that were taken from vehicles in Wood-Ridge to buy cigarettes at seven different gas stations in Hasbrouck Heights, East Rutherford, and Wallington,” Rutigliano said.
Wood-Ridge detectives obtained surveillance video from the businesses of both men and their car, which were then distributed to surrounding agencies, he said.
They then created a task force with their colleagues from Carlstadt, Hasbrouck Heights, and East Rutherford who were investigating similar vehicle break-ins. The Bergen County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit also assisted, Rutigliano said.
The task force identified the driver as Morton and Stallone as the one using the credit cards.
As a result, Stallone was charged with burglary, theft, fraud and credit card fraud, among other counts, after Wood-Ridge and Carlstadt police took him into custody last week. He posted a $25,000 bond and was released pending a court hearing.
Morton, meanwhile, was released on charges of conspiracy to commit theft and receiving stolen property.
A male juvenile who was with them was identified but not charged, Rutigliano said.
The detective thanked the Carlstadt, Hasbrouck Heights and East Rutherford police departments and the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office for their participation in the investigation and arrests.
IMAGES: Courtesy WOOD-RIDGE PD