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Alert Resident Helps Garfield Police Nab Paterson Van, Bicycle Thieves

Jose Gonzalez, Emmanuel Bernard
Jose Gonzalez, Emmanuel Bernard Photo Credit: BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

Two thieves using a van stolen out of Maywood were snatching bicycles in Garfield overnight when a resident's call brought police, authorities said Thursday.

Responding officers stopped the van on Route 46 and nabbed repeat offenders Jose Gonzalez, 40, and Emmanuel Bernard, a-30-year-old Dominican national. Both live in Paterson.

A Spring Garden Lane resident alerted police to the thefts shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, Capt. Richard Uram said.

The van had its headlights off when Officer Jaroslaw Wdowiak spotted it on Shaw Street, Uram said.

Wdowiak stopped the van in Elmwood Park, where he was joined by Officers Jamie Vazquez and Joseph Kopacz, the captain said.

They found the van's passenger window broken, shards of glass on the floor and three stolen bicycles in the back, he said.

The van, which had been reported stolen two weeks ago, also had bogus license plates on it, Uram said.

Bernard and Gonzalez were both sent to the Bergen County Jail, where they remained Thursday pending detention hearings.

They're charged with receiving stolen property and theft.

Garfield police already have returned two bicycles to their owners and were searching for the third.

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