ENGLEWOOD, N.J. -- Englewood police cracked a series of commercial burglaries with the arrests of an illegal resident who they said they found partying with four other men -- three of them illegals -- in the home of a military service member who is on assignment out of the area.
One of them was also charged with robbing a restaurant manager at gunpoint, as well as with committing at least seven area burglaries in a little over two months.
"Conditions in the home were deplorable throughout," Detective Capt. Timothy Torell told Daily Voice. "There was evidence of partying, along with urine and feces everywhere."
The break in the case came early Sunday, Nov. 8, when Officer Christopher Colon spotted the front door of the Circle Square West Indian American Restaurant on Lafayette Avenue shattered, Torell said.
The owner responded and reported that the cash register, containing $100, and both a laptop and an iPad valued at more than $1,000 were stolen by a lone burglar who was caught on the restaurant's video surveillance system.
Just past midnight on Tuesday, Nov. 11, Detective Sgt. Christopher Kedersha found the suspect near the 7-Eleven at Tenafly Road and West Palisade Avenue and took him into custody.
Torell identified him as 18-year-old Carlos Rosales-Campos, an illegal resident from El Salvador who is homeless and was squatting on the first floor of a vacant house on Lafayette Avenue owned by the military service member. Detectives questioned Rosales-Campos, who the captain said was carrying some of the stolen items from the restaurant.
They also found four other men inside the house: Rosalio Valencia-Hernandez, 49, Rene Contreras-Ixtla, 39, and Evaristo Chavez, 34, all in the U.S. illegally from Mexico, along with 47-year-old Oswaldo Meneses-Arango of Englewood, a permanent resident from Colombia.
Torell said police also found various items in the house that linked Rosales-Campos to the Aug. 27 robbery of the manager of the Jackson Hole Diner on Grand Avenue. The robber put a gun to the manager's head just after closing and fled with $1,000.
Also found in the house, the captain said, was evidence linking Rosales-Campos to several commercial break-ins:
Sept. 28: A cash register containing less than $500 was taken from the Colpan Bakery on James Street.
Oct. 2: A cash register containing less than $100 was stolen from Community Cleaners on Grand Avenue.
Oct. 6: Crown Fish & Chicken on West Englewood Avenue reported a cash register containing less than $500 stolen, along with tobacco products, in a burglary.
Oct. 15: The Jackson Hole was targeted again -- only this time the register was tampered with and a $500 laptop stolen.
Oct. 21: Nothing was apparently taken during a break-in at the KNT Luncheonette on West Hudson Avenue.
Oct. 29: The Englewood Athletics clothing store on West Palisade Avenue reported $100 in cash and $500 worth of clothing stolen.
Carlos Rosales-Campos being held on $500,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with armed robbery, burglary, attempted burglary, theft and various weapons counts, among other offenses.
The other four were ordered held on $2,500 each on trespassing charges.
Federal authorities were notified for deportation purposes.
"A significant amount of the stolen merchandise in these cases was recovered and returned to our businesses," Torell noted.
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