Joseph Holman, 41, of Passaic broke into the Plains Pharmacy at the Valley Ridge Shopping Center twice in less than 24 hours in late May, Detective Capt. Dan Daly said.
The first time, he took $14,200 worth of scratch-off tickets after shattering the glass front door shortly before 4:30 a.m., Daly said.
The following day, Wayne Police Officer David Beltran found the front door smashed again and held open by a folding table.
No one was inside, Daly said. Backups later found lottery ticket boxes strewn along a fence behind Our Lady of the Valley Church, he said. They also found a bicycle and fingerprints at the scene.
A pharmacy manager told police several containers of drugs, assorted other products, cash registers, more lottery scratch-offs and the store’s delivery vehicle were taken. Total loss: $72,000 worth.
Detectives zeroed in on Holman, also known as Harry L. Gray, Daly said.
They got word soon after that police in Philadelphia had recovered the drug-store vehicle, unoccupied.
Wayne Detective Darren Williams and Detective Sgt. Vincent Ricciardelli went there to process the stolen vehicle for evidence and found hair samples that were later submitted for DNA testing.
Their prime suspect was Holman, who has a lengthy criminal record involving burglary, theft and other offenses in several New Jersey counties.
Earlier this year, Haledon police chased down Holman following a convenience store burglary.
Other arrests include a shoplifting that put Holman behind bars after authorities said he assaulted officers from Edgewater.
Holman was wanted in a string of incidents in Bergen and Passaic counties -- including a business burglary where the front window was smashed and lottery tickets and other items were stolen -- when Clifton police charged him with another.
Officers were pursuing Holman as he tried to pedal away from another burglary on a bicycle when a police car smashed into a building on June 7, Clifton Lt. Robert Bracken said.
Holman then smacked into one of the other police cars and went airborne, he said.
Holman has been held in the Passaic County Jail since that arrest. Meanwhile, investigations in several jurisdictions have continued.
These included the back-to-back break-ins at Plains Pharmacy, where fingerprints lifted from the scene ended up matching Holman’s, Daly said.
Wayne detectives drew up complaints for burglary (two counts), theft (four counts) and criminal mischief (two counts) and served them to Holman at the county lockup.
Holman faces a series of hearings for various arrests in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson. Meanwhile, Philadelphia police were also pursuing charges.
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