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Cresskill-Closter Daily Voice serves Closter, Cresskill & Demarest

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  • Northern Valley
    serves Harrington Park, Haworth, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan & Rockleigh
  • Englewood
    serves Alpine, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs & Tenafly
  • Bergenfield
    serves Bergenfield, Dumont & New Milford
DV Pilot Police & Fire

Arrest in arsons of Englewood cars, house

Photo Credit: Bergen Sheriff
Photo Credit: Bergen Sheriff
Photo Credit: Bergen Sheriff

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Englewood police have charged a 24-year-old undocumented day laborer with torching several cars and a house in the same neighborhood late last month and then two more cars just blocks away yesterday, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Marco Antonio Rene (MUGSHOT: Bergen Sheriff)

Marco Antonio Rene, of 124 West Street, is being held on $2.5 million bail in the Bergen County Jail, with a federal immigration detainer, after being transferred there overnight.

The Guatemalan native has been in the country illegally for two years, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

The 5-foot-6-inch Rene was arrested and charged with four counts of attempted murder, eight counts of aggravated arson and a single count of possessing a fraudulent Social Security card and resident alien card after two cars were set ablaze between 11 a.m. and noon yesterday, records show.

The 1998 Honda Civic, parked outside the Shop-Rite at West Street and Tallman Place, sustained unspecified damage.

Less than an hour later, a witness flagged down a passing Englewood patrol car and reported that a man had just lit a car on fire at 29 West Demarest Avenue.

Englewood police officers flooded the area and quickly found Rene based on the description given.

The officer spotted the alleged arsonist, Marcos Antonio Rene, 24, as he was entering an apartment at 124 West St. a few blocks from where a vehicle had been set on fire, bringing him in for questioning along with an acquaintance,

A patrol unit that rolled up on him as he entered an apartment a few blocks away found Rene with another man with similar immigration troubles, Police Chief Arthur O’Keefe said . Both were brought in for questioning, the chief said.

The second quickly gave up Rene for yesterday’s fires during questioning, he said. Rene, in turn, admitted to those and last month’s arsons, O’Keefe said.

The chief said his detectives are trying to determine whether he had any tangible motive in setting the fires yesterday and in the monument-area neighborhood where he’d once lived.

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Five cars and a house in an Englewood neighborhood were set ablaze overnight, and investigators from the city and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office’s arson unit are trying to determine who’s responsible. READ MORE….

YESTERDAY: Two weeks after an arsonist set five cars and a house in an Englewood neighborhood on fire, two cars were torched a few blocks away. READ MORE….

A resident flagged down a city patrol officer at 3 a.m. on May 27, alerting him to six burning cars on West Palisade Avenue near the Soldiers Monument. Police said five were torched and a sixth caught fire as a result.

Emergency workers were at the scene moments later when the siding of a house suddenly sprouted flames. They believe it may have been smoldering for awhile. Damage to the home was minimal, they said.

However, four people were inside at the time.

The vehicles were all parked curbside between the monument and Cottage Place. They included a retored 1986 Fiero, a Lexus and two Camrys.

Three were destroyed, one had moderate damage and one had minor damage. The sixth, parked nearby, sustained some damage, as well.

The Bergen County Sheriff’s Department’s Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence for the investigation, conducted by the Englewood Police Department and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Arson Squad, O’Keefe told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

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