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Saddle Brook-Elmwood Park Daily Voice serves Elmwood Park & Saddle Brook

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Alert Neighbor, Hustling Officer Produce Saddle Brook Car Burglary Bust

Victor Tafirenyika
Victor Tafirenyika Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy SADDLE BROOK PD
The burglarized Jeep.
The burglarized Jeep. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Saddle Brook PD
The shovel that police said was used to smash the Jeep's window.
The shovel that police said was used to smash the Jeep's window. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Saddle Brook PD

SADDLE BROOK, N.J. -- A Saddle Brook police officer responding to a neighbor's call nabbed a Zimbabwe national from Hackensack as he was burglarizing a car overnight Tuesday.

"A local resident heard the crash of glass breaking and saw [the suspect] entering a parked 2006 Jeep Cherokee on 2nd Street near the intersection of Outwater Lane" around 2 a.m., Police Chief Robert J. Kugler told Daily Voice.

Arriving less than a minute later, Officer Robert LittleJohn Jr. ordered the thief out of the vehicle, Kugler said.

Nearby, LittleJohn found a large shovel that was used to smash the Jeep's window, the chief said.

The owner reported dents and scrathes, along with shattered glass throughout the interior, Kugler said. The Jeep had been ransacked and loose change from the console taken, he said.

Victor Tafirenyika, 30, was ordered held on $50,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief.

More charges were likely, following the discovery of Social Security cards, in the names of two separate women, that were reported stolen from a Paterson residence, the chief said.

Kugler commended Littlejohn for his "quick and diligent response in responding to the scene within seconds of the reported call. He is an

example of a great patrol officer ready and able to take the necessary

action at a moment's notice."

The chief also praised the neighbor who called police and is "a shining example of a local neighborhood watch in action."

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