SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Police charged a 38-year-old Irvington man with stealing thousands of dollars in copper from a township warehouse in incidents dating back to 2013.
According to police, in November 2013, Richmond Industries on Chris Court reported $40,000 worth of metal that was missing over the course of a month.
Company management slowly began to realize that hundreds of copper bars were missing from their warehouse.
Detectives began to investigate, but there were no signs of forced entry to the warehouse and the alarm system never activated over the month-long thefts, police said.
There were few leads and the case grew cold after several weeks.
On September 25, Richmond Industries reported a new theft of copper bars and scrap metal from its warehouse, police said.
Like the time before, there were no signs of forced entry into the warehouse and the alarm system did not activate.
Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the area and observed an image of an SUV late at night near the warehouse, police said.
Detectives then researched all current and former employees who may have an SUV.
Police then identified former employee Momodu Rogers, 38, of Irvington, as having a friend with a SUV.
Detectives Dennis Yuhasz and Mike Pellino located Rogers Monday morning in Union Township and operating a Dodge Durango, police said.
Police said they were able to link Rogers to the scene and piece together the crimes.
According to police, Rogers would allegedly enter the warehouse by the roof and lower himself into the warehouse, then leave the same way without ever setting off the alarm.
In navigating his tortuous route, Rogers reportedly climbed 30 feet up a ladder attached to a dust collector box that runs parallel to the warehouse.
Once there, he would get a running start and jump over a five-foot gap between the dust collector and the warehouse roof.
On the warehouse roof, he would go to an exhaust fan which was off and would then slip his five-foot, five-inch, 140 pound, frame through the blades of the fan, and step onto a steel bar that was under the fan.
He would do a tight rope type walk for five feet on the pipe to a ladder, and would then climb down the ladder onto the warehouse floor. Police said.
Once in the warehouse, he collected copper bars and scrap metal and pushed them through a small window to the outside, police said.
He then left the warehouse floor by following the same path he came in to enter the warehouse, thereby not activating the alarm system when he exited, police said.
Rogers was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft.
He was lodged in the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in North Brunswick on $10,000 bail, police said.
“This suspect tried an unconventional method to commit his crime, but the determination and perseverance of the detectives is what tracked him down,” Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said. “He could avoid setting off the alarm, but not avoid our department following all the leads. This is an example of the great police work our department does every day.”
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