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Mahwah PD: Ex-Con Who Stole $10,000 In Hunting Gear Had Illegal Gun Cache

Baste Castello
Baste Castello Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

MAHWAH, N.J. – An ex-con who stole tents, tree stands, ladders and cameras used for hunting from Mahwah residents also had several guns, said police who raided his Ringwood home and busted him Thursday.

Baste Castello, 46, was arrested after township detectives watched him sell some of the goods snatched from the woods off Ramapo Valley Road and West Road at his home, Mahwah Police Chief James N. Batelli said.

Detective Lt. Guido Bussinelli zeroed in on Castello with help from Wanaque police, the chief said.

Officers from Ringwood assisted with the arrest and warranted search, conducted by Mahwah Detective Sgt. Kevin Hebert, Detective Michael Grassi and Officer David Vega, he said.

As a convicted felon, Castello was prohibited from having the firearms that were found, Batelli said.

“In addition, the Ringwood Police Department seized multiple items, including expensive landscaping equipment that was also determined to have been stolen,” he said.

All told, more than $10,000 worth of stolen property was recovered, the chief said.

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Conservation police were summoned and removed several prohibited items from Castello’s home, he added.

As a result, Castello faces theft and criminal trespass charges out of Mahwah, weapons and possession of stolen property counts out of Ringwood and charges from the DFWC police, the chief said.

Mahwah police turned him over to Ringwood authorities, said Batelli, who praised the cooperation of the agencies while also crediting his detectives for identifying a suspect.

The investigation was continuing and additional charges are possible, he noted.

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