PARAMUS, N.J. — A shoplifter who escaped police last month and attempted to sell stolen merchandise on Facebook was arrested in the Garden State Plaza parking lot on Wednesday, authorities said.
The Paramus Police Department charged Alfredo Vega, 49 of Paterson, with two counts of shoplifting, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools.
Paramus Police Officer David Betancourt was flagged down by Garden State Plaza Security that a man who had shoplifted from the Sunglass Hut on Tuesday was on the grounds of the mall.
Betancourt, assisted by officers Ben Fox and Christian Tsentas, located and stopped the subject in the parking lot while he was getting into a Black BMW.
The suspect was identified as Vega, who was placed under arrest and transported to Paramus Police Headquarters where he was booked, processed and remanded to the Bergen County Jail pending a bail hearing.
Vega stole numerous Tommy Hilfiger watches from Macy's located in the Garden State Plaza shopping center, and was later identified by mall security through a Facebook post.
The internet posting suggested that stolen watches were being sold online by a male with a Facebook profile identified as "Freddy Vega," whose picture resembled the suspect in the theft, police said.
Paramus Detective Mark Pinajian sent out an all-points bulletin, including pictures of the CCTV footage and Facebook picture of the suspect.
Lieutenant Michael Cumiskey of the B.C. Sheriff’s Department recognized Vega from previous incarcerations at the jail and, based upon this information a warrant was issued for Vega.
Then, on April 27, a suspect who was later identified as Vega shoplifted numerous pairs of men's shoes from the J. Crew store in Bergen Town Center, authorities said. He was able to escape prior to police arrival.
Anyone with additional information should contact the Paramus Police Department at 201 262-3400.