Three burglars were arrested after Teaneck officers followed a trail of footprints from the scene of a break-in to a nearby home where two of the thieves were found, township police said Tuesday.
Police were called Monday when a Queen Anne Road resident found their home had been burglarized sometime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Chief Robert A. Wilson said in a statement. The burglars apparently forced their way inside through a first-floor window and broke open a safe.
The resident told police $20,000 worth of jewelry, cash and coins was stolen. In cracking the safe, police said the burglars left behind a “white powdery residue.”
Officers followed footprints left from the residue a short distance to the Queen Anne Road home of John-Michael C. Robertson, who was inside with Jerry J. Whittaker, according to police.
“Robertson was arrested on scene after confirming that the pattern of the soles of his shoes matched the pattern left behind at the crime scene,” Wilson said.
Both men confessed to the Queen Anne Road break-in while being questioned by township detectives, the chief said. The pair also admitted to a nearby burglary on Colonial Court reported last month.
During the investigation detectives developed a third suspect, 18-year–old Santiago A. Rivera, who later turned himself in with a bag of jewelry pilfered from the Queen Anne Road break-in, police said. Much of the stolen cash remains missing.
Rivera and Robertson, both 19-year-old Teaneck residents, allegedly burglarized the house while police say Whittaker acted as a lookout.
Whittaker, who has no permanent address, was charged with burglar and theft. His bail was set at $15,000, with a ten percent option. Rivera and Robertson were booked on two counts of burglary and theft, and ordered held at the Bergen County Jail on $30,000 bail, with a ten percent option.
The three are set to appear in Teaneck Municipal Court Dec. 3.