PARSIPPANY — Wayne Police have arrested, Anthony Cervino, 43, Nutley, who allegedly committed dozens of “snatch and run” thefts using a similar method and often targeting a particular brand of jacket. The arrest took place at the Modell’s, Route 46, Parsippany on Wednesday, November 5.
A theft of North Face jackets worth $2,800 at a Ski Barn outlet on Route 23 kicked off a three-week search that involved the use of regional crime databases, multiple law enforcement agencies and surveillance, culminating with the arrest of Anthony Cervino, Capt. Mark McGrath said in a statement.
Wayne police responded to the store October 15 and were told by employees that a man entered, snatched an armful of the coats and fled, throwing the goods into the back of a dark-colored SUV.
After reviewing surveillance video, Wayne police alerted other departments about the particulars of the crime and also entered the information into a retail-crime database maintained by the New York Police Department.
The retailer Sports Authority contacted Wayne police after seeing the information posted on the database, informing the department of a thief who stole North Face jackets at a number of their locations, including in Secaucus the day after the Wayne incident, McGrath said.
The man kept his vehicle — described as a blue Toyota 4Runner — idling in the fire lane as he grabbed the goods, Sports Authority staff told police. Wayne police also spoke with other police departments to find out if there were similar thefts in their jurisdictions. Police were eventually able to trace the vehicle to Cervino, of Passaic Avenue in Nutley, McGrath said.
Wayne police coordinated with local law enforcement from Manalapan to Clifton, as well as the FBI and State Police, on a surveillance operation, with Wayne and Paramus police following Cervino Wednesday to the Dick’s Sporting Goods store at the Rockaway Mall after he was spotted in Newark and East Orange. He was then followed to a Modell’s outlet in Parsippany, where he reportedly left the SUV idling as he entered the store.
Moments later Cervino rushed out carrying an armful of Nike hoodies and was arrested, McGrath said.
During the course of questioning Cervino, the Wayne Detectives and Paramus Detectives were able to link Cervino to over 28 Snatch and Grab thefts that had occurred in 12 different jurisdictions and 8 different counties throughout the State of New Jersey. After processing, Cervino was charged in Wayne with the October 15 theft and his bail was set at $20,000 by the Honorable Lawrence Katz of the Wayne Municipal Court. He was also charged by the Paramus Police and East Brunswick Police. He was then transferred to the Passaic County Jail. There is expected to be numerous other charges forthcoming from other jurisdictions.
Editors note: A complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.