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Fair Lawn Man Accused of Burglarizing, Impersonating Roommate

A Plaza Road resident allegedly stole from his roommate on multiple occasions and then adopted his roommate's identity to make credit card purchases, police said.

A Fair Lawn man was arrested this week after he allegedly broke into his roommate's secured bedroom, stole his roommate's credit cards and identification, and used them to make fraudulent purchases, police said.

Sean Riffel, 25, is charged with two counts of burglary and single counts of theft of movable property, fraudulent use of a credit card, identity theft and criminal attempt.

Riffel is accused of stealing from his roommate on two separate occasions within a 10-day period.

In the first instance, on Jan. 20, he allegedly made off with his roommate's wallet, driver's license, credit cards and personal checks, police said. Sgt. Richard Schultz said Riffel impersonated his roommate to make fraudulent credit card purchases in town and also wrote out checks to himself that he then cashed.

Police responded to Riffel's Plaza Road residence again on Jan. 29 for another reported theft, Schultz said. This time, Riffel's roommate -- the victim -- reported that someone had entered the apartment while he and Riffel were out and stolen an iPhone and a skateboard, according to police reports.

Detective Timothy O'Shaughnessy developed evidence that tied Riffel to both thefts and an additional attempted break in of a neighbor's house, Schultz said.

In the attempted break-in, Riffel allegedly tried to get in through a Plaza Road neighbor's kitchen window, but was unsuccessful, Detective Lt. Michael Uttel said.

Riffel, who was arrested and charged Monday, remains in Bergen County Jail on $20,000 bond with a 10 percent option.

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Stuart Pace February 08, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Thanks to Chief Rose, Capt. Cook and Det.s Welsh and Uttel for the quick reaction and arrest of this scumbag. Friggin awesome. Happy he didn't get past opening our window before he ran off.
lance guinta February 08, 2013 at 07:26 PM
great work Det O'Shaughnessy.
Stuart Pace February 08, 2013 at 07:53 PM
And Detective O'.
Michael Agosta February 08, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Timmy Osh...you da man!
Concerned February 09, 2013 at 02:41 AM
Some PO's deserve some credit for that also. Department should be more of a team. Great job everyone involved!!
Wallflower February 09, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Stu obviously has an agenda other than congratulating the true working cops in our PD.
Stuart Pace February 10, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Hey wallflower,these are the guys that helped ME with the jerk that tried to rob me. So kiss my ass with your comments please.
CR February 12, 2013 at 04:19 AM
He actually burglarized another neighbor's house and stole a lot of jewelry. Hope the scumbag stays in jail for a long time.

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