MAHWAH, N.J. -- Mahwah police arrested a township man twice within 24 hours for burglarizing cars -- serving as a reminder for citizens to not only lock their vehicles but to also call authorities immediately when they see something suspicious, Police Chief James Batelli said.
It was just before 7 a.m. Sunday when a resident at a condominium complex off Ridge Road called police to report three people opening car doors and taking things out, Batelli said.
Responding officers took 19-year-old Mohammed Sarraffan of Mahwah man and two boys into custody, he said.
The boys were released to their parents pending a hearing on delinquency complaints in the Family Division of Superior Court in Hackensack, the chief said.
Sarraffan was released -- only to turn up at another condo complex overnight Monday, he said.
A resident at Vista View Drive called police just after 2 a.m. to report an interior light on in her vehicle and a woman running from it.
A Bergen County Sheriff's K-9 unit was requested and quickly found Saraffan and 19-year-old Alexis Wellacher-Ortiz, also of Mahwah, Batelli said. They also recovered burglary proceeds nearby, he said.
Weilacher-Ortiz was released without bail pending a court appearance today.
Sarraffan was being held on $5,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with burglary and theft.
"These incidents serve as a reminder for residents to lock their personal vehicles when they are parked in the driveway," Batelli said.
He also commended the residents who made the arrests possible by calling immediately.
"The saying 'if you see something -- say something' is important for law enforcement to proactively investigate these incidents," the chief said.
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