CARLSTADT, N.J. – A decoy delivery led to the arrest of a Carlstadt heroin addict who was first caught on a surveillance camera swiping packages – and was pushing a shopping cart full of others when they grabbed him, authorities said.
A woman who’d had several packages stolen over nearly two weeks installed the camera after fellow tenants in the Hackensack Street building told her they’d been victimized, too, Police Chief Thomas Nielsen said Wednesday.
The camera captured images around noon Monday of a man wearing a hoodie and carrying a backpack walking up to the woman’s front door and scooping up a package delivered earlier that day. Nielsen said.
On Tuesday, Detective John Sanzari arranged a decoy delivery to the victim’s home. Lt. Damir Blagec, Sgt. Robert Biamonte and Officer James Winand joined Sanzari in watching the area in the hopes the thief would show, Nielsen said.
A little over an hour after the noontime dropoff, 51-year-old Anthony Raspavolo arrived, grabbed the package from outside the front door, then tossed it into a small shopping cart with a bunch of others, the chief said.
The posse let him walk a few steps west onto Broad Street before moving in and arresting Raspavolo without incident, he said.
Raspavolo – who was carrying 10 used bags of heroin and two glass pipes -- told them he’d sold the stolen merchandise in Paterson to support his addiction, Nielsen said.
Raspavolo, who has a history of drug-related arrests, was sent to the Bergen County Jail, where he remained Wednesday pending a detention hearing.
Carlstadt police charged him with theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He also had outstanding warrants out of Carlstadt and Hasbrouck Heights.
“The investigation is continuing regarding the theft of the other packages which may result with additional charges being filed against Raspavolo,” Nielsen said.
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