A Palisades Park detective captured a porch pirate from Paterson who posed as a FedEx worker to collect iPhones illegally shipped to residents throughout New Jersey and then send them to a storeowner in the Dominican Republic, authorities said.
TMobile authorities alerted borough police to a package scheduled for delivery at a 4th Street address late last week, said Capt. Anthony Muccio, the officer in charge of the department.
In the box were six iPhone 11s valued at $699 each, he said.
Authorities suspected a bogus delivery because they were prepaid for with an American Express card on a just-opened TMobile account, Muccio said.
So they alerted his department, the captain said.
Detective Rory Tennant was watching the residence when Carlos Rosario-Fermin, 28, showed up in a FedEx shirt with an orange safety vest, took the recently-delivered package and put it in his car, Muccio said.
Tennant got more than he bargained for when he grabbed Rosario-Fermin, the captain said.
He also learned how the scheme worked.
Rosario-Fermin worked as a runner for “friends in the Dominican Republic who own a cellphone store,” Muccio said.
The organizers steal IDs, place orders, then pay people like him $250 for every package collected and shipped to them, he said.
Police in East Rutherford, Nutley, Matawan and Egg Harbor have had similar incidents, Muccio said.
Both the U.S. Secret Service and the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office were notified, the captain said.
Rosario-Fermin was charged with two counts of ID theft, along with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, before being released pending a court hearing, Muccio said.
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