Alerted by a resident, Elmwood Park police chased down and caught a Lodi man as he burglarized cars in a local neighborhood. It was the third time in five months that Elvi Molla, 27, had been arrested.
Officers immediately set up a perimeter after the resident reported seeing a man inside his 2004 parked in his driveway just after 6 a.m. Tuesday, Police Chief Michael Foligno said.
Within 20 minutes, Lt. John Harris and Officer Nikolce Dimovski spotted Molla walking on Tuella Avenue.
Molla took off but was quickly caught, he said.
He was carrying a stolen GPS, iPhone, a pair of sunglasses, a debit card, loose change and eight bottles of perfume, the chief said.
Molla was free pending trial after police in Lodi said they caught him breaking into cars last month. He'd been sent to the Bergen County Jail, but a judge ordered him released barely 24 hours later under New Jersey's bail reform law.
Earlier this year, Lodi police said Molla jumped from a stolen car while it was moving.
Once again, he was ordered released under the state's Bail Reform & Speedy Trial Act, which was designed to ensure that poor defendants charged with minor crimes don't stay locked up while large-scale drug dealers pay whatever amount of bail is necessary to free themselves.
Police charged Molla with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property and sent him to the Bergen County Jail. He remained held there Thursday.
“Elmwood Park and surrounding communities have been plagued with a rash of car burglaries over the past several months,” Foligno said. “The officers displayed professionalism and teamwork and both are an asset to the department and the community.
“We would like to remind our residents to please lock their vehicles at all times to assist us in preventing these types of crimes.”
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