Thieves flattened tire and followed car leaving NJ jewelry store, cops say
💎 A deflation device was planted when the victim made a stop at a pharmacy
💎 When the victim stopped, the "good Samaritans" were there to help
💎 Clear video from the restaurant where the victim stopped helped crack the case
SOUTH BRUNSWICK — Thieves posing as good Samaritans stole $18,000 from a car with a flat tire in August in the case of the "follow-out tire deflation theft."
South Brunswick police made an arrest Tuesday in the theft of $18,000 in jewelry that had been in a car that developed a flat tire after leaving a jewelry store in the Iselin section of Woodbridge on Aug. 19.
When the driver stopped at a pharmacy on Route 27 in the Kendall Park section of South Brunswick, police believe two men put a deflation device in one of the tires.
Noticing their tire was going flat, the driver pulled into the parking lot of Dusal’s Italian Restaurant on Route 27 in the Kendall Park of South Brunswick. As the driver inspected the tire, the thieves offered to help with the tire.
One of the men walked around to the other side of the vehicle, stole the bag with the jewelry and left.
Clear video, detective work crack the case
Detectives credit clear security video from the restaurant that led to the arrest of Cristher Calderon-Losada, 45, of Jackson Heights, New York, and Dario Jimenez-Castaneda, 44, from Wantagh, New York.
They also worked with several other law enforcement departments around the state. South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka gave special credit to Fairfield police but did not disclose their contribution.
"These victims had no idea the good Samaritan coming to assist was actually the criminal. This case was solved because detectives around the state coordinated intelligence to have these suspects arrested," South Brunswick Police Chief Raymond Hayducka said in a statement.
Both men are charged with third-degree burglary, third-degree theft by unlawful taking, and third conspiracy to commit burglary and theft. They are free pending a preliminary hearing.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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