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Ridgewood police add charges against homeless fugitive in multi-town car burglary spree

Photo Credit: Courtesy GLEN ROCK PD
Photo Credit: Courtesy GLEN ROCK PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: Ridgewood police today added two car burglary charges against a parolee and transient ex-con being held for similar crimes in Glen Rock.

A Municipal Court judge, in turn, increased the bail for 28-year-old Gregory Gizinski by $50,000 today — to $300,000 — as investigations in the two towns and Wyckoff and Hawthorne continue.

Authorities also revealed that they believe Gizinski wasn’t responsible for all of the car break-ins reported in a recent spree. They urged residents to continue remaining vigilant, to not leave their vehicles unlocked, to be sure to use a locked trunk when storing valuables and to immediately report any suspicious activity.

Glen Rock tied Gizinski to six and Ridgewood to four of the more than two dozen combined car burglaries reported this month in theirs and the other two towns.

He was also wanted out of Monroe City, PA when Glen Rock police arrested him late last Wednesday night with another man who they said operated as his lookout.

Gregory Gizinski (MUGSHOTS: Courtesy GLEN ROCK PD)

Should Gizinski somehow make bail, Pennsylvania authorities would pick him up to answer burglary and drug charges in their jurisdiction. Full extradition was attached to their no-bail warrant

Glen Rock police charged Gizinski with various offenses, including six counts each of burglary and theft, as well as single charges of receiving stolen property, possession of burglary tools, hindering apprehension and being a fugitive from justice.

They also charged him with being a felon in possession of a weapon — a folding razor knife that they said Ginzinski was carrying when he and an alleged accomplice were arrested last night. He also had on him several cellphones, iPods and wallets, and gave officers a bogus name, Glen Rock police said.

The second man was identified as a 24-year-old Paterson native living in Elmwood Park who was arrested in Ridgewood last week and spent two months in the Bergen County Jail this summer on a parole violation. He was released on a summons.

Although another media outlet published his name, CLIFFVIEW PILOT respected a request from Glen Rock police to withhold it.

He and Gizinski were picked up at Tonawanda Road and Ferndale Avenue in Glen Rock around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday after police responding to a Bradford Street resident’s call of a suspicious man in his driveway stopped them for questioning. Both were wearing hoodies and carrying backpacks, police said.

Glen Rock Police Officers Bryan Scott, James McGill and Lucas Doney, as well as assisting officers from Ridgewood and Hawthorne, were credited in large part for the investigation and arrests.

Records show that Gizinski was wanted on warrants out of Stroudburg, Pa., Paterson and Prospect Park. He has had various addresses in Passaic County — Prospect Park, North Haledon and Paterson, among them — and is considered “undomiciled.”

Known on the street as “Goose,” Gizinski was among more than 400 people in North Jersey arrested earlier this summer as part of a joint anti-heroin intiative spearheaded by Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli with his counterparts from Passaic and Morris counties.

Records show prior arrests on drug and burglary charges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

The search began when Glen Rock was hit with at least 15 car burglaries two weeks ago, followed by no fewer than four in Ridgewood and an undetermined number in Hawthorne and Wyckoff.

Some residents reported seeing a person in a grey hoodie who appeared to be prowling and tripped motion sensor lights outside their homes.

Police from all three towns worked together, while stepping up patrols.

Then came a break.

“Since our initial warning about overnight thefts from vehicles in Glen Rock and surrounding towns, there have been three more nights of incidents, involving more than ten additional vehicles,” Glen Rock police reported on their Facebook page last Wednesday.

“An alert resident did call to report a suspicious male in his driveway just after midnight on one of the nights in question,” they added. “The subject fled on foot, and was later determined to be the actual suspect in our thefts.

An investigation “later revealed one of the men was responsible for a majority of the incidents,” they said.

“Through diligent police work, inter-agency cooperation and statewide intelligence gathering, a person of interest has been identified, and efforts are being made to locate him,” the post says.

“While these arrests appear to have cleared incidents that occurred recently in the Byrd School area, Doremus Avenue, Concord and Rutland Road areas, there are still open cases of a similar nature,” Glen Rock police wrote in another Facebook post.

Residents, they said, “residents should remain alert and immediately report any suspicious or out of place persons or vehicles by calling 911. Please provide as much information as you can safely gather, including any physical descriptions and directions of travel.”

CLIFFVIEW PILOT Correspondent Boyd A. Loving contributed to this report.


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