A Lodi career criminal with a rap sheet more than 15 years long was arrested after burglarizing a Prospect Park takeout restaurant before dawn Saturday, authorities said.
Ryan Patrick Morgan, 34, has been arrested dozens of times in North Jersey since his 18th birthday, records show.
Over that time, the tattooed ex-con has been busted in no fewer than seven towns on charges that include robbery, resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer, as well as a string of drug court and probation violations.
During a two-week span in 2017, Garfield police said, Morgan swiped a purse from an Applebee’s employee, broke the window of a liquor store in a failed burglary attempt and snatched a $650 iPhone from an AT&T store.
Morgan served seven months in state prison and was released in June 2019 after he was convicted of assaulting a Lodi police officer during a chase.
He was immediately back behind bars that September.
Morgan was released on Feb. 6, 2020, then was returned to the Bergen County Jail after Elmwood Park police said he broke into a Route 46 Friendly’s by throwing a brick through the window just two weeks later.
He ended up remaining in the county lockup for what became 364 days before being released this past Feb. 5 following convictions for assorted offenses.
Around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Morgan broke into the King Garden restaurant on North 8th Street in Prospect Park, Detective Capt. Walter Richmond said.
Patrol Officer Craig Bonagura was responding to an unrelated service call nearly six hours later when he identified Morgan as the burglar, Richmond said.
Morgan was charged with burglary and theft and sent to the Passaic County Jail to await a detention hearing.
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