A pair of car burglars tried to duck down in their seats when a Tenafly police officer caught them in the act, authorities said.
In their car, police said they found a bunch of cellphones, a ski mask and several pairs of rubber-coated gloves, as well as a key fob to a Range Rover.
On the lookout following a series of recent vehicle thefts and car burglaries, Officer Maxwell Werner spotted a suspicious Chevrolet Impala with Washington, DC license plates slowly reversing on the wrong side of the road on Coppell Drive near the intersection of Engle Street around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Werner “immediately recalled surveillance video obtained from previous nighttime car thefts in our area where suspects could be seen slowly reversing in front of homes they targeted to steal high end luxury vehicles,” Capt. Michael deMoncada said.
As Werner approached in his police cruiser, the driver abruptly parked along the curb and cut his lights, deMondaca said.
He and his passenger then “reclined their seats in an attempt to avoid being seen,” he said.
Both were “visibly nervous and could not provide an explanation for their suspicious driving or attempt to conceal themselves from approaching cars” when confronted by the officer, deMoncada said.
Backups arrived and helped Werner determine that both men – identified as Esua Kearney of Edgewater and Demetrious Ross of Piscataway, both 42 – had extensive criminal histories and various aliases.
Kearney also had an outstanding traffic warrant out of Irvington, he said.
Kearney and Ross were sent to the Bergen County Jail to await a detention hearing on charges of possession of burglary tools.
Kearney also received summonses for driving while suspended, carless driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
An investigation was continuing, deMoncada said.
“This incident highlights the proactive efforts of our officers to find and arrest burglars and car thieves that target our community,” the captain said.
“However, it should serve as yet another reminder for all residents to remove key fobs and lock their cars, even when parked in their own driveway.
“Criminals will continue to target our community until they realize there is nothing to gain by coming here. Let’s all do our part to keep our neighborhoods safe by locking our cars and reporting any suspicious activity to the police department as soon as you see it.”
deMoncada asked that citizens not hesitate to call if they have information about the incident itself or others – or see something or someone unusual in their neighborhood: (201) 568-5100 (Tenafly PD Detective Bureau).
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