BEHIND THE STORY: He walked into businesses with a bogus ID tag around his neck and walked out with money, credit cards and anything else he could grab while posing as a delivery person or tradesman, police said.Edward Victor Alexander (a/k/a: A host of names) Inset: NJDOC / Other: Mahwah PD
Most times, they said, he’d lift a single credit card and return a purse to its original spot so the owner wouldn’t notice it missing – until he’d already run up thousands in charges.
Edward Victor Alexander, 46, of Newark is now being held in the Bergen County Jail after Mahwah police pulled him over in a rented van on Route 17 yesterday.
The ex-convict, released from state prison last March after serving nearly four years, is charged this time with various counts of burglary and theft in connection with a series of crimes on Jan. 26. He’s also charged with trying to elude police.
Police in North Jersey remember Alexander from an incident in 1997 when he hit a co-worker from Westwood in the face with a shovel handle in Moonachie. He ran and dove under a parked car before officers collared him.
He’s done state time on convictions out of Morris and Essex counties for burglary, theft and credit car fraud, among other crimes.
Detective Lt. Martin Clancy and Detective Kevin Hebert were on an undisclosed surveillance detail yesterday when they saw Alexander driving the U-Haul van just off the highway, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said.
When they tried to stop him, he “attempted to elude the officers and was stopped a short distance away,” the chief said. “[Alexander] refused to identify himself and could not produce any of the required driving credentials.”
Both detectives immediately recognized Alexander, whose image was captured by surveillance cameras in a series of daytime commercial burglaries in town, Batelli said.
Alexander “refused to cooperate with the detectives and insisted he did nothing wrong and couldn’t understand why he was being detained,” he said.
They arrested him and impounded the U-Haul, then did a fingerprint check, which turned up dozens of aliases that the chief said he used when stopped elsewhere by police (SEE BELOW).
In Mahwah, Batelli said, Alexander walked into businesses “wearing a fraudulent Identification tag around his neck” and “if confronted, would identify himself as a courier, delivery person or tradesmen. Once inside he would then go through purses, desk drawers or cubicles and steal any personal belongings he could find but mainly credit cards.
“In many instances, he would take only one credit card from a purse and replace the purse to its original position so the owner potentially would not realize the card was missing for several days. Badger would then use the credit cards to purchase items from any number of a variety of stores.”
Police from various departments have shared video of Alexander from the stores where he used the plastic, Batelli said.
Alexander, now being held on $50,000 bail, has a criminal record that stretches from Massachusetts to Maryland, through New York and Pennsylvania to Nevada, the chief said. He also has the aggravated assault conviction out of Bergen County from the late 90s.
Authorities in several New York and Connecticut towns are now eyeing Alexander in similar thefts, Batelli said.
Alexander’s string of aliases include:
William Meacham Derek
Willam Meacham Derrick
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