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Paramus Police Bust Burglary Crew

TOP: Nicolas Cortes, Johan Medina
BOTTOM: Santiago Ortiz, Julian Cortes-Camelo
TOP: Nicolas Cortes, Johan Medina BOTTOM: Santiago Ortiz, Julian Cortes-Camelo Photo Credit: MUGSHOTS: Paramus PD / BACKGROUND: Boyd A. Loving (file photo)

A watchful neighbor gave Paramus police the drop on a Colombian burglary crew that had just broken into a local home, leading to four quick arrests, authorities said.

“Polícia!” the getaway driver shouted into his cell phone as Officers Kevin Osback and Dan DiRienzo arrived at the Haywood Drive home shortly after 11:30 a.m. last Friday, Dec. 23, Deputy Police Chief Robert Guidetti said.

The officers and several other colleagues converged on the block after a resident called to report two hooded bandits dressed all in black entering the rear of a neighbor’s home, the deputy chief said on Tuesday.

Various real estate listings value the burglarized residence near Route 17 and the northbound Garden State Parkway in the area of $1.5 million.

As the Paramus officers seized the shouting driver, they noticed a second sedan speed off. DiRienzo and Officer Kurtis Massey stopped that vehicle and arrested that driver, as well, Guidetti said.

The search for two other suspects was on.

Borough police got help from their colleagues from Rochelle Park and Maywood, the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and New Jersey State Police, the deputy chief said.

A short time later, Sgt. Dean Avagnano arrested Johan Medina, 23, of Flushing, Queens after finding him running in the area of Buttonwood Drive, he said.

Detective Matt McGuire and Detective Lt. Tom Schroeder nabbed the second burglar -- identified as Julian Santiago Cortes-Camelo, 22, of West New York -- as he tried to hide under a backyard deck on Beechwood Drive, Guidetti said.

Police charged those two and the drivers – Santiago Ortiz, 22, and Nicolas Cortes, 25, also both of Flushing – with offenses that include burglary, conspiracy and resisting and hindering arrest.

They then sent all four to the Bergen County Jail only to have a judge release each one of them – with court dates -- less than 24 hours later, records show.

This despite the fact that all four are Colombian nationals, according to jail records, and likely would have drawn attention from federal immigration officials.

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