MAHWAH, N.J. – A Bronx ex-con busted by Mahwah police with $4,000 worth of goods stolen from tri-state-area Home Depot stores, as well as $600 in store cards and $2,000 in cash, is believed to be part of a large-scale theft ring, authorities said Thursday.
An employee at the southbound Route 17 Home Depot directed Detective Eric Larsen to a Honda Odyssey in the parking lot, where he found 46-year-old Miguel A. Garcia, an ex-convict on federal probation, Police Chief James N. Batelli said.
As Larsen spoke with him, another man emerged from the store pushing a shopping cart filled with high-priced items, the chief said.
That man quickly took a detour, while tossing what turned out to be a bogus Florida driver’s license, he said.
Larsen got the pair together at the minivan and requested backup.
During a subsequent interview, Garcia bolted toward the back of the store and the railroad tracks, but Larsen and Officer Devin Gannon quickly caught him, the chief said.
By the time they’d returned to the minivan, the second man was gone, he said. A Mahwah K-9 unit responded but couldn’t track him.
A judge ordered Garcia held on $50,000 in the Bergen County Jail, charged with theft, receiving stolen property, obstruction by fleeing and possession of fraudulent documents.
The pair “are believed to be part of a large scale Home Depot theft ring out of the Bronx,” Batelli said, adding that his detectives were working with investigators from the NYPD and Home Depot.