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Police: Lieutenant Nabs Hawthorne Burglary Suspect in Stolen U-Haul Truck

An alleged serial burglar is awaiting charges in Paterson and Hawthorne following his arrest by Fair Lawn police early Monday morning.

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.

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Concerned April 23, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Very observant of the lieutenant, great police work, however, in reading the article, it appears he had no backup while pulling over the vehicle. Little reckless -- aren't there rules and protocol to follow? This type of situation is how officers are hurt. I am so "concerned" about this department.
AlmostPerfect April 23, 2013 at 12:35 PM
Lt Corcoran should be running the Detective Bureau! This Blue Knight has consistently protected life and property in FAIR LAWN as well as the bordering towns. I have to ask why the Department hadn't tapped his crime fighting skills and knowledge to bring their battle scarred reputation back into a positive light! Great Job Lieutenant! I sleep sound knowing we have such a dedicated and talented cop out there
Bruce Knuckle April 23, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Its nice to see good press about the Fair Lawn PD. We have read many times here that Det. Welsh is involved in resolving so many cases. Corcoran partnering with such a fine and efficient detective shows sound judgement. Good work Lt. Your commanders outht to be proud!
Concerned April 23, 2013 at 06:23 PM
I believe I did congratulate him in my first sentence. I also do not read the article with the understanding that Det Welsh was there at the time he stopped the vehicle. My comments are only based on our officers being safe, it had nothing to do with any of our officers doing a good job. I just hope FLPD has regulaitons in place so safety of our officers is a top priority and that if any regulations do exist, they are followed. I guess since the town just celebrated the life of a fallen officer, safety was on my mind. And, no, I am not an officer - or a jealous guy on the force.
Ben Schwarz April 23, 2013 at 07:17 PM
Always good to see great police work. From Paterson to Hawthorne and then Fair Lawn, three towns and Fair Lawn saved the day! Nice work,!
josh April 23, 2013 at 09:14 PM
With guys like Corcoran out in the street the citizens will always be safe. Its nice to see officers from two sections of the Department working together. Det Welsh and Lt Corcoran set fine examples of what Fair Lawn's Police can be when cops are allowed to just do the job without any distractions from leadership in
Common Sense April 24, 2013 at 02:38 AM
Reckless?? Can a police officer anywhere make people happy! You obviously have an unstable person in a stolen vehicle, if this person blows through a school zone and God forbid injures a kid then you would say why didn't the officer act sooner. The reason why it's a dangerous job is because of split second decisions like this. Maybe the word should be heroic not reckless! I attribute the recent positivity to the new Acting Chief Cauwels! Finally leadership letting cops be cops!
The Patriot April 24, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Why is it we only ever hear about Det Welsh? Does the department have any other detectives? If so what does that say for the supervision of them
SUMtingWONG April 24, 2013 at 07:19 PM
@ Patriot- You will find that the detective bureaus across Bergen County are filled with 1 or 2 real detectives, the rest of those so called detectives are nothing more than friends of the politician or relatives of the powers that be. As you will notice the very person providing the information for this article has a very familiar name in Fair Lawn.

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