YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Glen Rock police have charged a parolee and a transient ex-con wanted out of three other North Jersey towns and Pennsylvania in connection with a string of no fewer than two dozen area car burglaries, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Ex-con Gregory Gizinski, who turned 28 two weeks ago, was being held on $250,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Glen Rock police said Gizinski is the “man in the hoodie” who residents reported seeing in the area of car burglaries in Glen Rock, Hawthorne and Ridgewood.
They charged him with various offenses, including six counts each of burglary and theft, as well as single charges of receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, hindering apprehension and being a fugitive from justice.
They also charged him with being a felon in possession of a weapon — a folding razor knife that they said he was carrying when he and an alleged accomplice were arrested last night. He was also carrying several cellphones, iPods and wallets, and gave officers a bogus name, police said.
The second man was identified as a 24-year-old Paterson native living in Elmwood Park who was arrested in Ridgewood last week and spent two months in the Bergen County Jail this summer on a parole violation. He was released on a summons.
Both were picked up at Tonawanda Road and Ferndale Avenue in Glen Rock around 11:30 last night after police responding to a Bradford Street resident’s call of a suspicious man in his driveway stopped them for questioning, Detective Sgt. Eric Reamy confirmed this morning. Both were wearing hoodies and carrying backpacks, he said.
Reamy credited Officer Bryan Scott, James McGill and Lucas Doney, as well as assisting officers from Ridgewood and Hawthorne for the investigation and arrests.
Records show that Gizinski was wanted on warrants out of Stroudburg, Pa., Paterson and Prospect Park. He has had various addresses in Passaic County — Prospect Park, North Haledon and Paterson, among them — and is considered “undomiciled.”
Known on the street as “Goose,” Gizinski was among more than 400 people in North Jersey arrested earlier this summer as part of a joint anti-heroin intiative spearheaded by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli with his counterparts from Passaic and Morris counties.
Records show prior arrests on drug and burglary charges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
More charges were expected out of Ridgewood and elsewhere following last night’s arrest. Should he somehow make bail, Pennsylvania authorities would pick up Gizinski to answer burglary and drug charges in their jurisdiction. Full extradition is attached to their no-bail warrant, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
The search began when Glen Rock was hit with at least 15 car burglaries overnight last Wednesday into Thursday, followed by no fewer than four in Ridgewood and an undetermined number in Hawthorne.
Some residents reported seeing a person in a grey hoodie who appeared to be prowling and tripped motion sensor lights outside their homes.
Police from all three towns worked together, while stepping up patrols.
Then came a break.
“Since our initial warning about overnight thefts from vehicles in Glen Rock and surrounding towns, there have been three more nights of incidents, involving more than ten additional vehicles,” Glen Rock police reported on their Facebook page yesterday.
“An alert resident did call to report a suspicious male in his driveway just after midnight on one of the nights in question,” they added. “The subject fled on foot, and was later determined to be the actual suspect in our thefts.
An investigation “later revealed one of the men was responsible for a majority of the incidents,” they said.
“Through diligent police work, inter-agency cooperation and statewide intelligence gathering, a person of interest has been identified, and efforts are being made to locate him,” the post says.
“While these arrests appear to have cleared incidents that occurred recently in the Byrd School area, Doremus Avenue, Concord and Rutland Road areas, there are still open cases of a similar nature,” Glen Rock police wrote in another Facebook post.
Residents, they said, “residents should remain alert and immediately report any suspicious or out of place persons or vehicles by calling 911. Please provide as much information as you can safely gather, including any physical descriptions and directions of travel.”
CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving contributed to this report.
MUGSHOTS: Courtesy GLEN ROCK PD
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.