Essex County News

Nutley Man Arrested for Series of Religious Statue Thefts


NUTLEY – The Nutley Police Department reports that a 19 year old Nutley resident was arrested following the investigation of 30 incidents of theft. The items stolen included religious statues and lawn items.

This past summer, the Nutley Police Department released surveillance photos to the press. The department was contacted by an individual who was about to make an online purchase of an item and recalled the news stories. That tip led to the eventual arrest.

Chief Thomas Strumolo said “part of our investigative tactics included releasing photos and information so that our community partners could assist with identification.” Strumolo credited the anonymous informant with providing the information that led to breaking the case. Strumolo stressed that the suspect was cooperative and remorseful.

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Police Director Alphonse Petracco said “It is sad when a young man commits these types of crimes” in the community in which he lives, it was only a matter of time before he was apprehended. 

Police explained that the suspect used the online sales site to sell items. He would photograph religious statues, lawn ornaments, patio furniture and even a Weber grill at the intended victim’s home. Upon receiving an online order, he would take the items. The people making the purchase had no way of knowing the items they were receiving were stolen.     

Upon review of the website, Police discovered dozens of items listed on the site, most of which were still on the resident’s lawn. At this time the suspect is reported to be cooperating with police in surrounding communities regarding items stolen from lawns in neighboring jurisdictions.

Among the items take:

Manhattan Ct            -Mary/Jesus statue

Coppola                      - Weber Grill

Centre St                     -  Virgin Mary

Union Ave                   – Mother Theresa

Woodland Ave           – Milk can

Church St                    – Vase

Evergreen                   – Lion statue

Franklin Ave               – Virgin Mary

Oakridge Ave              – Virgin Mary

Chase St                      – Saint Anthony

Speer                           – bench flower pot

Woodland Ave           – wicker patio furniture

Stager St                     – wicker patio furniture

Ackerman St               – Bicycle flower pot

Race St                        -  Mother Theresa

Cross St                       – Madonna

60 Manhattan Ct       -Wicker Furniture


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