CRANFORD - On July 28, the Cranford Police Department discovered six Cranford Police vehicles parked at the Cranford Municipal Building were broken into overnight.

According to the press release, the suspect gained entry to the vehicles by breaking their rear windows. Inside the vehicles, the suspect rummaged through police equipment stored in the trunk area, and in one instance, physically removed a gun vault, which was bolted into the vehicle. The suspect attempted to make entry to the gun vault but was unsuccessful and only managed to steal a police “Raid” jacket with Cranford Police patches. The suspect caused over $4,000 in damage during the commission of this crime.

A thorough investigation led by the Cranford Police Department Investigative Division commenced and a person of interest was developed, by midweek, using video surveillance from local businesses and residents. Unfortunately, the suspect struck again this past Friday, returning to the Municipal Building Parking Lot and breaking into several more police cars. This time, the suspect stole three bulletproof vests, an entry tool kit, and a police gear bag.

The Cranford Police Department Investigative Division was able to confirm the identity of the suspect by midday Friday and received charge approval from the Union County Prosecutor’s Office for two arrest warrants. That same day at 12:44 p.m., the Cranford Police Department Investigative Division took custody of the suspect, Jake Fichiera, 19, of Cranford, outside his residence. Fichiera was charged with four counts of Criminal Mischief and two counts of Burglary and Theft. He was processed and remanded to the Union County Jail pending a detention hearing. The Cranford Police Department recovered all three bulletproof vests, entry tool kit, and police gear bag.