A string of pre-dawn Prospect Park vehicle burglaries ended when a rookie police officer nabbed a Paterson man in the act, authorities said.
Officer Yeisy Reyes Jr. was on patrol when he spotted Wesley Bethea, 51, testing car-door handles in the area of Hopper Street and Brown Avenue shortly before 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, Capt. Ammen Matari said.
A security alarm on one of the vehicles began blaring, sending Bethea running, Matari said.
Joined by Sgt. Amy Perlmutter and Officer Jawad Hataf, Reyes took Bethea into custody.
They found him carrying a flashlight and some stolen property, the captain said.
The story doesn’t end there, though.
Detective Sgt. Walter Richmond and Detective Arthur Canestrino looked further – and connected Bethea to six vehicle burglaries the thefts of several laptops, an iPad, cash and other valuables..
The detectives recovered three laptops and a tablet that were being returned to the victims.
Bethea was sent to the Passaic County Jail to await a detention hearing in Central Judicial Processing Court on several counts of burglary and theft.
Police Chief Charlie Atie commended the officers and detective for “their diligent and proactive police work.”
The chief also urged all vehicle owners: “Please lock your doors.”
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