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Mahwah police arrest one, seek another, in theft of bag with $150,000 cash

Photo Credit: Courtesy MAHWAH PD
Photo Credit: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

UPDATE: One of two men who Mahwah police said stole a satchel filled with $150,000 that was inadvertently left on the street by employees of a company that delivers money to ATM machines was arrested after he bought a new truck with some of the proceeds, authorities said.

Alton Harvey, 42, of Hillside ( above left ) was driving a borrowed GMC Savanna van when hsi passenger — identified as 35-year-old Jamar Bludson of Newark ( above, right ) — got out and snatched the bag off a curb on Industrial Avenue near Franklin Turnpike just before noon Monday, Police Chief James Batelli told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon.

Surveillance cameras produced images of the van, which Detective Michael Grassi traced to an Irvington resident hours after Monday’s theft, the chief said.

SURVEILLANCE IMAGE: Courtesy MAHWAH PD

After finding the van in Irvington, Grassi, Detective Sgt. Kevin Hebert and Detective Eric Larsen spotted a new Chevy Tahoe with temporary New Jersey license tags, ran the number and discovered that it had just been bought, Batelli said.

Detectives later arrested Harvey in Hillside.

They also impounded the van, whose owner was unaware of its involvement in a crime,the chief said.

Harvey “admitted to his role as the driver of the van and also informed detectives that the Tahoe was purchased with cash taken from the satchel,” Batelli said.

The chief also emphasized that his detectives ruled out the possibility of the theft being an inside job following extensive interviews and reviews of surveillance images — which included thefts of used tires dumpd at car dealerships and repair shops.

Harvey — who has an extensive criminal history that includes 10 felony convictions for weapons and drug offenses, escape and resisting arrest — was being held on $125,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.

Meanwhile, authorities continued to search for Bludson, who was also wanted on a parole violation.

Anyone who knows of his whereabouts, or can help authorities find him, is asked to call Mahwah police: (201) 529-1000.

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