PROSPECT PARK - According to the Prospect Park Police Department, at about 3:21 a.m. on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, Police Officer Reyes noticed a man walking around Hopper Street and Brown Avenue. In an apparent attempt to gain entry, he was seen tugging on the door handles of three different vehicles. After trying one of the vehicle handles, an alarm was triggered which caused him to run.
The Police Department said that Sgt. Perlmutter, Officer Reyes, and Officer Hataf were able to intercept the man who fled the alarmed vehicle and identified him as a 51 year-old Paterson resident, Wesley Bethea. Officers found he was "in possession of a flashlight and stolen property", placing him under arrest. Bethea was charged with three counts of attempted burglary, one count of possession of buglary tools, and one count of receiving stolen property.
Since Prospect Park has had past vehicular burglaries, Detective Sergeant Walter Richmond and Detective Canestrino carried out an investigation and determined that Bethea had burglarized a further six vehicles. These incidents included thefts of electronics such as an Apple iPad, laptop computers, cash, and other unspecified personal effects. As a result, Bethea was charged with another half-dozen counts of burglary and theft and was detained at the Passaic County Jail in Paterson while awaiting a Central Judicial Processing hearing.
Prospect Park Police Chief Charlie Atie said, "As always, I commend my Patrol Officers and Detectives for their diligent and proactive police work and urge all vehicle owners, to please lock your car doors."
Officer Reyes was praised by Mayor Mohamed Khairullah. "We commend Officer Reyes for his alertness, which is a testament to the great leadership and training within the Prospect Park Police Department. Quality of life issues remain a top priority to the governing body of this close knit community."
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