A Fair Lawn police lieutenant nabbed an alleged serial burglar in Paterson early Monday morning after alertly spotting the man speeding down Lincoln Avenue in what turned out to be a stolen U-Haul truck, police said.
Lt. James Corcoran was patrolling near the Hawthorne border following reports of a burglary at Lincoln Bagels around 4 a.m. when he observed a U-Haul truck traveling south on Lincoln Avenue at a high rate of speed, Sgt. Brian Metzler said. Corcoran followed the vehicle from Hawthorne into Paterson, where he stopped the driver at River Street and 5th Avenue, Metzler said.
The driver, identified as Heriberto Torres, of Paterson, had no driver's license or U-Haul rental agreement on his person and had active warrants for disorderly conduct and trespassing out of Union City, Metzler said.
While speaking with Torres, Corcoran noticed he had a screwdriver with a bent head —indicative of a possible burglary tool — and arrested him on the two oustanding warrants, Metzler said.
Using surveillance footage, Hawthorne police simultaneously linked Torres to the Lincoln Bagels burglary, Metzler said. The U-Haul truck, which Metzler said Corcoran and Detective Jeff Welsh traced back to a separate overnight burglary from Shield Self Storage in Paterson, was identified by Hawthorne police as the getaway vehicle in the burglary, according to police.
Torres, 34, was charged in Fair Lawn with bail jumping and receiving stolen property and is being held at Bergen County Jail in lieu of $35,000 bail. He's awaiting additional charges in Hawthorne and Paterson, where Corcoran said he was wanted in a number of burglaries.
Metzler commended Corcoran for instinctively following the suspicious speeding U-Haul and apprehending Torres.
"It was good police sense on Lt. Corcoran's part," he said.