YOUR READ IT HERE FIRST: An ex-con busted in Oakland this morning confessed to a string of convenience store break-ins in Bergen and Passaic counties in recent weeks, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said this afternoon.
Surveillance video from a 5:15 a.m. break-in on March 24 at the Fardale Mini Mart at Forest Road and Wyckoff Avenue in Mahwah showed 23-year-old Stefanos K. Papastefanou of Mahwah and a white getaway car, Batelli said.
Detective Kevin Hebert, who initially connected Papastefanou to the incident, got word this morning that his suspect was in the Passaic County Jail after being arrested moments after a Ringwood job.
During an interview at the jail, Papastefanou admitted committing the mini-mart break-in while using a relative’s white sedan — while out on bail after being arrested by Mahwah police on minor drug charges four weeks ago.
Papastefanou, who lives with his mother and sister, “admitted to two other convenience store burglaries” in the area, pulled off with the other two men, a law enforcement source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this morning.
Papastefanou, who most recently worked for a paving company in Waldwick, was charged by Mahwah police with burglary, theft, criminal mischief, and possession of burglary tools, Batelli said.
He was being held on $25,000 bail in the Passaic County Jail, charged by Ringwood police with the Skyline Lakes Drive convenience store burglary.
Oakland police grabbed him and two other men – identified as passenger Blake Donnelly, 41, and 20-year-old driver Jaime Frasche — after Ringwood police issued an alert for their black Honda Civic.
In addition to burglary-related counts, Frasche was also charged with having counterfeit money, police said.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy Mahwah PD
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