ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. -- A group of former Lodi High School students used keys to get into a Rochelle Park American Legion post, where they disengaged the alarm system and helped themselves to alcohol, food and cash from a tip jar, authorities said Friday.
A relative of a cleaning company stole access keys, entered the alarm code and allowed the group access to American Legion Post 170, Detective Sgt. Jim DePreta said.
Police took nine people into custody -- six adults and three juveniles -- after a member of the post discovered the break-ins on 9/11, DePreta said.
Surveillance video showed groups of three to six people entering the bar section, drinking the booze and stealing food from beneath the bar and cash from a tip jar beginning in July, he said.
Detectives used social media and met with Lodi police and school officials to identify the teens and one 20-year-old seen in the videos, the sergeant said.
The adults were charged criminally with burglary, theft and underage consumption of alcohol and released pending court hearings.
The juveniles were issued delinquency complaints to be heard in the Family Division of Superior Court in Hackensack.
- Vincent Persico, 20, of Lodi;
- Genisa Torrico, 19, of Lodi;
- Jayanti Thomas, 18, of Lodi;
- Jonathan Guerra, 18, of Lodi;
- Mathew Palikudath, 18, of Lodi; NJ
- Jessenia Rodriguez, 18, of Saddle Brook.
All but Rodriguez are former Lodi High School students, DePreta said.
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