Smash-and-grab burglaries target 2 restaurants in Maplewood, New Jersey

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Smash-and-grab burglaries target 2 NJ restaurants
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Toni Yates has the latest on Maplewood burglaries.

MAPLEWOOD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are investigating a pair of smash-and-grab burglaries targeting two different restaurants in Maplewood.

Both happened over the weekend. The scenarios were similar, and detectives believe both crimes were committed by the same suspect.

The first happened Saturday morning just before 7 a.m.

A suspect wearing a dark mask, heavy coat, white hoodie and light-colored pants smashed through the glass front door of Artie's Restaurant on Newark Way and stole the cash registers.

The damaged registers were found later at another business nearby with the cash removed.

The second incident happened the next morning, on Sunday around 4:45 a.m.

Someone smashed through a glass door at Sabatino's Pizza on Valley Street and stole the cash register there.

The damage was so bad it took all day for owner Sabatino Perrotta to clean up and prepare to reopen.

"There's glass all over the place, I had to wipe and clean everything, it's such a small place, there was glass everywhere," Perrotta said.

Perrotta said dozens of people who live in town stopped by to ask if he needed anything and he is grateful for the support.

But he is even more grateful he is repairing the aftermath of a burglary instead of a robbery.

"The way I look at it, I'm happy nobody came in with a gun at 4:00 in the afternoon, possibly with a gun" he said. "I might have a 17-year-old or young person working, it was 4 in the morning, no one was here do what you gotta do, get in and get out."

The suspect was last seen in a dark colored SUV traveling north on Valley Street into South Orange.

Maplewood Police have stepped up patrols in the area, and detectives are investigating both incidents.

Anyone with information or video of either incident is being asked to contact Detective Baez or Detective Rella at 973-761-7920.

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