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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Boo! Wayne Police Say Ghostlike Hotel Thief Wore Bedsheet With Eyeholes Cut Out

Joseph M. Elder
Joseph M. Elder Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy WAYNE PD

A 59-year-old guest at a Wayne hotel swiped money from the register after throwing a bedsheet over his head with holes for eyes – like a cartoon ghost – and jumping the counter at the front desk, said police who arrested him.

Joseph M. Elder “opened the cash drawer and removed the money” before fleeing through the back of the former “Tilted Kilt” restaurant at the Ramada Inn on Route 46 around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Detective Capt. Lawrence Martin said.

Officers Michael Kochinski and Robert Sova determined that Elder entered the lobby of the hotel from the closed and locked area of the former restaurant after donning the bedsheet, Martin said.

He wasn’t difficult to find, given that he was staying at the hotel, the captain said.

Elder was charged with burglary and theft and sent to the Passaic County Jail, where he remained held on Wednesday.

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