Cops say Cranford man broke into more than half dozen police cars
CRANFORD — A 19-year-old resident is accused of causing more than $4,000 in damage by breaking into more than a dozen police vehicles on two days and stealing police gear, including three bulletproof vests and an official "Raid" jacket.
On Sunday, July 28, six Cranford police vehicles that were parked at the township municipal building had their rear windows smashed during an overnight break-in, according to police.
Each trunk was rummaged through and in one vehicle a gun vault was unbolted but the vault had not been cracked open and was left behind.
A police “Raid” jacket with Cranford police patches was stolen, according to authorities.
Using video surveillance from local businesses and residents, police said they had focused on "a person of interest" days later. But on Friday, Aug. 2, several more police cars were broken into at the Municipal Building parking lot.
This time, three bulletproof vests, an entry tool kit and a police gear bag were stolen.
That same day, before 1 p.m., police arrested 19-year-old Cranford resident Jake Fichiera outside his home.
Police said they recovered all three bulletproof vests, the entry tool kit and police gear bag.
As of Tuesday morning, the raid jacket with Cranford police patches had not been recovered, police said.
Fichiera was charged with four counts of criminal mischief and two counts of burglary and theft.
He was taken to the Union County Jail pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.
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