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Sports Collectible Shop Rocked by Overnight Burglary

America's Pastime on Broadway is the latest in a string over overnight commercial burglaries to hit Fair Lawn businesses.

Correction: A prior version of this story incorrectly stated that the burglary occurred at . The confusion arose because it was a JJ's Pub bartender who called in the burglary to police. The businesses are neighbors.

hit a sports card and memorabilia shop on Broadway early Tuesday morning, in what are calling a smash-and-grab break in.

Rich Budnick, the owner of America's Pastime, said burglars kicked down his front door and smashed a front showcase, making off with about $2,000 in silver coins. They fled through the store's back door, which leads into a parking lot used by neighboring JJ's Pub, he said.

A JJ's Pub bartender, who was outside cleaning up for the night, phoned police after hearing the shop's alarm sounding and spotting three youths fleeing up the street, Budnick said.

"The alarm is what saved me," said Budnick, who came in early Tuesday morning to clean up the shop. "It kept the theft to a minimum. If they had stayed any longer, the cops would have got 'em."

Budnick said police told him the burglars likely had cased the place in advance, given the specific nature of the theft. They grabbed only the silver coins from the showcase and passed on the nearby autographed baseballs, vintage sports cards and other collectibles.

While he credits his alarm system for minimizing the damage, Budnick said he feels it's no longer enough protection. Going forward, he plans to invest in a surveillance system and purchase a more heavy-duty deadbolt for his door.

After the burglars were unable to break through his safety glass front door using a large rock, they kicked in the deadbolt on the door, he said. They then used the rock to smash the front showcase and grab the coins.

The store remained open Tuesday while workers from Benny's Glass and Mirrors in Paterson installed a new glass front door.

Detectives continue to investigate the growing number of commercial burglaries around town, including  a few weekends ago that they believe to be connected.

It's unknown whether Tuesday's burglary was connected to the recent string of smash-and-grabs in the area.

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MUSHROOM May 08, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Who released the news that it happened at JJ's
Bruce Knuckle May 08, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Blame do nothing Police Chief Rose.Its time to get leadership in here to bring the PD back to where it needs to be. Like the council that keeps him here, he too is more worried about himself.
Tommy P May 09, 2012 at 03:11 AM
You would think instead of taxing people who have alarms, they would have tried to tax those who don't, particularly businesses, of course I only point this out now the Metzler taxes are frozen.
Bruce Knuckle May 09, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Tommy, its a major thorough fare, where is the chief in this/? Multiple break inS and he is absent. Time for a change, I gotta go with the no confidence in him. Forget Metzler, Where are the patrols?
Kristal Renn May 09, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Great job to the caring person who called the police in response to the alarm. Too many people today ignore alarms going off.

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