A man suspected of committing a trio of Rochelle Park burglaries was arrested when he showed up for court in Hackensack on another charge – and was found carrying documents stolen during one of the break-ins, authorities said.
Ismael Estrella, 38, of Forest Hills, Queens, also had bogus driver’s licenses and credit cards created using the identity of one of the victims with him when he was taken into custody outside the Bergen County Courthouse, they said.
Detective Sgt. Jim DePreta originally arrested Estrella after spotting him on Madison Avenue six days after the Dec. 4 burglaries.
Estrella was carrying gloves, a crowbar, and a chisel when DePreta stopped him, Detective Chris Bermudez said. He couldn’t explain why he was carrying them or what he was doing in the area, Bermudez said.
At that point, police couldn’t directly tie him to the burglaries of nearly week before. Residents in those break-ins reported losing personal documents, jewelry, and handbags.
However, police seized several cellphones that he was carrying and obtained search warrants for their records.
They charged Estrella with possession of burglary tools and sent him to the Bergen County Jail while continuing to investigate. A judge later released him pending further court action.
Estrella -- whose has a Bergen County criminal record dating back to 2002 -- showed up for his next court hearing on Tuesday.
What he didn’t know, Bermudez said, was that the warranted searches of the phones seized by police tied him to the three break-ins.
Detectives on Tuesday found Estrella carrying personal documents belonging to one of the victims, as well as stolen proceeds in his car, the detective said.
They also found bogus drivers' licenses and credit cards in the name of the victim, as well as burglary tools, Bermudez said.
Estrella remained held Wednesday in the Bergen County Jail – charged this time with three counts each of burglary, theft, and criminal mischief.
He also was charged with receiving stolen property, identity theft, credit card theft, possession of false government documents, and possession of burglary tools.
Detectives were continuing their investigation, which could tie Estrella to more break-ins and help recover other stolen goods.
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