YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Thanks to a call from an alert River Edge resident this morning, Paramus police arrested a homeless ex-con wanted in two counties for a string of thefts while riding a bicycle in Allendale, Closter, Norwood, Ramsey, Ridgewood and elsewhere.
The resident called borough police at 8:41 a.m. after recognizing 47-year-old James M. Rainsford of Orangeburg from a mugshot posted on CLIFFVIEW PILOT and elsewhere, Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said this afternoon.
Responding Officers Mark Pinajian, Justin Sicari and Jack Cacamis took Rainsford into custody without incident after finding him walking in a wooded area near Howland Avenue and Spring Valley Road in Paramus, the chief said.
He was carrying a “crack pipe” and two small flashlights, Ehrenberg said.
Rainford was being booked into the Bergen County Jail as Paramus detectives contacted their counterparts from various agencies.
Allendale police less than two weeks ago issued surveillance images of Rainsford taken during a Franklin Turnpike residential burglary just after midnight July 17.
In the video, he tried to open several doors before getting in — setting off an alarm.
He then took off on a bicycle.
“Essentially, he looks for an open door to gain entry into homes while the occupants are asleep, then takes money or whatever else he can grab before exiting,” Allendale Police Chief George Scherb told CLIFFVIEW PILOT at the time.
Scherb’s detectives and investigators from other towns compared notes and identified Rainsford — believed homeless in the Paterson area — as their primary suspect.
Involved agencies also include the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office, the municipal departments from within the county and Little Falls and North Haledon police.
MUGSHOT: Courtesy PARAMUS PD
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