NUTLEY, NJ - Nutley Police charged two suspects in a series of 'water department' burglaries that took place over the last several weeks in Nutley and Bloomfield.
Known as 'diversion burglaries,' one party distracts the victim while the other commits the crime. In this case, the actors stated they were working 'down the street and needed to gain access to the victim's water.' As the occupant would lead one person downstairs, the other was burglarizing the residence.
After a burglary on Mountainview Avenue in Nutley on Friday February 17, Nutley police obtained video footage of a newer model pickup truck. That footage was shared with police departments in the area.
Bloomfield Police, who were conducting a parallel investigation involving actors and a vehicle of the same description, worked with Nutley to identify 31 year old Michaelangelo Costello and 58 year old Wando Delmaro of Jersey City. Bloomfield Detectives were able to apprehend both suspects and their vehicle. Bloomfield Police made the arrest and filed charges related to burglaries in Bloomfield, Nutley Police filed additional charges of burglary and theft.
Police believe these suspects are responsible for similar diversion burglaries in the area including ones on Bloomfield Avenue and Union Avenue in Nutley. The investigation that led to the arrests included officers from the State Police RTCC, Nutley, Caldwell, and Livingston.
Director Alphonse Petracco said diversion burglaries are common they allow one person to enter occupying the homeowner while a second waits until resident is distracted; they then enter to commit burglary. He commended all officers and detectives that worked on this investigation.
Chief Thomas Strumolo commended all officers for their efforts and special thanks to the residents that provided investigators with surveillance. He said for every person arrested, there are several more ready to take their place. He reminds residents that caution needs to be taken when allowing anyone into your home. Don’t let anyone influence you to enter without calling police first.