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Witness: 'Possessed' Arsonist Breaks Into Ramsey Home, Sets Garage Fire

Robert Madan Jr. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco / MUGSHOT: Courtesy RAMSEY PD
"He kept kicking at the glass until he could get in," a witness said. Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

An 18-year-old Montvale man broke into his former townhouse in Ramsey, then set a fire in the garage, authorities said.

Thanks to local residents, police rushed to the Carol Street resident nabbed him late Tuesday afternoon.

Robert Madan Jr. was first taken to New Bridge Medical Center and then to the Bergen County Jail to await a detention hearing.

Charges include burglary, arson, weapons and drug offenses -- for carrying pills without a prescription, authorities said.

A neighbor summoned Ramsey police at 3:15 p.m Tuesday after seeing Madan breaking a glass sliding door and entering the townhouse, Police Chief Bryan Gurney said.

Officers grabbed Madan in front of the building, smelled smoke and evacuated neighboring townhouses, the chief said.

Borough firefighters quickly doused the blaze, he said.

Gurney praised his officers "for their quick response and professional handling of this arrest,” as well as borough firefighters for "quickly identifying the source of the fire and [their] handling of the crime scene.”

A resident immediately called police after he "heard a banging noise" and saw the intruder kicking in the glass of the door, a neighbor said.

"He looked like he was about 16," the witness said. "He kept kicking at the glass until he could get in.

"He looked possessed."

The area was cordoned off so that investigators from the Bergen County Arson Squad could do their work.

Members of the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification collected evidence.

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