Workers at an Edgewater construction site had left for the day when a burglar slipped in, put on a hard hat and work shirt and helped himself to $29,000 worth of tools while customers drank and dined at a restaurant next door, authorities said.
He left an hour and a half later with drills, batteries, saws, and a spool of copper wire after breaking into several job boxes, they said.
Borough Detective Jorge Vanegas got surveillance footage from the restaurant and watched as Jose Hernandez-Done of New York City pulled up that June night, parked his dark-colored Toyota Corolla next to the Old River Road job site near the foot of Gorge Road and went in, Detective Sgt. Teddy Wetklow said.
Restaurant patrons were dining outside because of COVID lockdown restrictions and apparently didn't consider him suspicious based on his outfit.
Hernandez-Done “came back to his vehicle with various tools multiple times and placed them in his trunk and on the rear seat” before eventually leaving, Wetklow said.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office helped Vanegas identify the vehicle.
Hernandez-Done ended up surrendering to Edgewater police, who booked him on burglary and theft charges and sent him to the Bergen County Jail to await a detention hearing.
Wetklow asked other police agencies to check to see whether Hernandez-Done may have committed similar crimes in their towns. To reach the Edgewater Police Detective Bureau, dial (201) 943-2200.
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