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Cliffside Park Police Charge Four In Combined $55,000 Gas Station Theft

CLOCKWISE (from top left): Turkay Gelir, Muhammed Karaali, Volkan Karaali, Vinko Ivankovic
CLOCKWISE (from top left): Turkay Gelir, Muhammed Karaali, Volkan Karaali, Vinko Ivankovic Photo Credit: COURTESY: Cliffside Park PD

CLIFFSIDE PARK, N.J. -- Cliffside Park police charged two former gas station employees -- one of them a deportee who snuck back into the country -- in connection with the theft last month of $30,000 in cash, $21,500 in cigarettes and a damaged security system worth $4,500 from the business.

Detectives investigating the April 25 theft at the BP station on Gorge Road quickly zeroed in on former employee Turkay Gelir, 35, who knew where to find the key to the safe, Police Chief Richard Gaito told Daily Voice.

Gelir "was also familiar with the day-today operations of the business and had access to restricted areas, which included the storage area where the cigarettes are stored," the chief said.

That same day, detectives arrested 33-year-old Vinko Ivankovic of Ridgefield and charged him with conspiracy to commit theft, theft, hindering, tampering with evidence and criminal mischief, Gaito said. He posted $25,000 bail and was released pending a court hearing.

Three days later, they arrested another employee, 19-year-old Muhammed Karaali, on charges of lying to police and hindering, along with Volkan Karaali, 43, who was charged with receiving stolen property, the chief said. Police processed the Cliffside Park pair and released them on summonses.

They finally tracked down Gelir on Monday in North Bergen, Gaito told Daily Voice.

Gelier -- who was previously deported and then returned -- was being held on $50,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail on charges of conspiracy, theft, tampering with evidence and criminal mischief.

An INS detainer will keep him held at the jail should he make bail.

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