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Ridgefield Park-Hasbrouck Heights Daily Voice serves Hasbrouck Heights, Little Ferry, Moonachie, Ridgefield Park & Wood-Ridge

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Bergen bandit blamed for five weekend business robberies

Photo Credit: HASBROUCK HEIGHTS PD
Photo Credit: HASBROUCK HEIGHTS PD
Photo Credit: HASBROUCK HEIGHTS PD

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A manhunt was under way for a Bergen County armed robber who is believed to have struck five times in a little over 24 hours this weekend — twice in Hasbrouck Heights and once each in Garfield, Lodi and Elmwood Park, authorities said.

  • YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Bergen County Police Department K9 unit caught a Camden man who authorities believe was responsible for a weekend holdup spree following the armed robbery of a Lodi 7-Eleven. READ MORE ….

The likelihood grew that a county task force would be formed out of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office following two holdups that occurred 20 minutes and barely a mile apart tonight — at a Lodi pizzeria and then back in Hasbrouck Heights, where he first struck the night before.

Rite Aid robbery
(Courtesy HASBROUCK HEIGHTS PD)

The apparently Hispanic robber first showed up at a Rite Aid in the 100 block of Boulevard in Hasbrouck Heights around 8:20 p.m. Saturday. After walking halfway down an aisle, he pulled a ski mask over his face and walked straight to the front of the store, Detective Sgt. Michael Colaneri Jr. told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Pointing a black handgun, he ordered the cashier in a Spanish accent to empty the register into his black Jansport backpack, Colaneri said.

He then bolted south on Boulevard and got into what police believe was a dark-colored, four-door Volkswagen sedan around the corner. It then headed west.

Colaneri said the 6-foot-tall, 160-pound bandit was wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, black gloves and grey and blue sneakers, as well as a yellow and black necklace.

He also had a distinguishing feature, the detective said: black gage earrings.

Garfield CVS

Later that night, he hit a Sunoco station convenience store in Elmwood Park, police said.

At 3:50 this afternoon, the same man pulled a gun on a CVS clerk at Midland and Van Winkle avenues in Garfield. Police said he ordered the clerk to put all the money from her register in his backpack “or he’ll shoot her.”

He then fled with $660, they said.

K9 units from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office searched neighborhoods around the store but lost the scent, police at the scene told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

They described the bandit as light-skinned, Hispanic and wearing nearly all black, including a wool hat, as well as a red scarf covering his face. They also suspect he may have gotten away in a green Sebring convertible.

Garfield police were checking surveillance video from the CVS and surrounding stores.

Around 8:30 tonight, police believe the same man robbed Pizza Zone at South Main Street and Lincoln Place. He was wearing a black mask and gloves, they said.

This time, however, witnesses reported seeing two women with him — both white, one with dark hair and other blonde.

Twenty minutes later, the Bergen bandit hit the Minit Mart in the 300 block of Hasbrouck Heights, about a mile from the Lodi holdup.

He had the mask and backpack and what were described as silver or grey sneakers.

Detectives from the various towns said they intend to compare notes tomorrow.

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