Quick Work By RPD Catches Local Jewelry Thief
by Kim Bogosian
On Wednesday, September 18th, the Rutherford Police Department was called to a case that required textbook teamwork. In the span of 24 hours, multiple members of the RPD solved a single case that included theft of property, burglary, identity theft, drug addiction and preying on the elderly.
At approximately 2:15 pm, a man entered Corbo Jewelers on Park Ave and asked to see a gold necklace with a diamond encrusted plate valued at $1,820. As the clerk left the area to run the credit card he presented, the man left the store with the necklace. The credit card was declined, but a search of the name on the card revealed the cardholder to be an elderly man living nearby on Franklin Place. Sergeant Craig Capoano and Officer Steven Batchelor reported to the Franklin Place home. It quickly became apparent that the suspect was a neighborhood acquaintance who had stolen the elderly man’s credit card when the suspect had entered the man’s home without permission earlier that day. Although the victim could not recall the name of this acquaintance, he did have a phone number which Detective Moore used to identify the suspect as Angelo Pluchino of Rutherford.
The following day, Detective Russ Snyder performed surveillance on the suspect which ultimately led him to Passaic. As Detective Snyder watched the man exit a vehicle in Passaic he knew it was time to make contact with the suspect, whom he had met during a previous incident involving the RPD. Upon recognizing Detective Snyder, Pluchino cooperated by providing a full confession and the location where he sold the necklace. He was arrested without incident with the help of Detective Sergeant Michael Garner. Detective Snyder partly credits the positive interaction he previously had with Pluchino which made him feel comfortable enough to fully cooperate on this day.
With the assistance of the Passaic Police Department, the necklace was recovered and returned to Corbo Jewelers in less than 24 hours. The suspect was charged with burglary, theft, possession of a stolen credit card, impersonating another, attempting to use a stolen credit card, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and CDS paraphernalia.
Chief John Russo would like the community to know that “this case shows how communication and collaboration, whether within a single department like we saw here or between municipal and state agencies can provide positive and efficient outcomes. I commend my personnel who worked together to bring this case to a swift conclusion. In doing so, this team helped educate an elderly victim, return stolen property to a local business undamaged and concluded with the arrest of a suspect. The suspect was of course charged, but he was also provided with the resources to hopefully enable him to get the assistance he needs for his addiction. Here, we saw how our elderly can be targeted by the criminal element. It's also an example of the tragic drug dependency that we as a society have been tirelessly fighting, even more so in recent years.”