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Edgewater police grab 2 on bus after shoplifting gets physical

Photo Credit: Courtesy EDGEWATER PD

ANOTHER CVP SCOOP: A shoplifter who knocked down a female Target security guard was caught by an Edgewater police officer moments after he and an accomplice boarded a bus on River Road, authorities said.

Officer James Dalton was joined by Officer Tina Pothos after he saw Mario Lorenzo Guzman, 30 ( above, left ), and 28-year-old Edis Kaleci ( right ) board the bus outside the McDonalds in The Commons Mall and stopped it yesterday afternoon, Detective Sgt. Brian Van Wettering told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

The officers separated the pair, who gave conflicting stories, Van Wettering said this afternoon.

Target asset protection officers summoned to the scene identified both, he said.

Guzman and Kaleci entered the store together around 4 p.m., the security officers told police.

Surveillance video shows Guzman taking a pair of sneakers, a shirt, a pair of blue jeans, socks, underwear and a belt into a fitting room and emerging wearing them while holding the clothes he wore into the store, Van Wettering said.

“Guzman gives his clothing to Kaleci, who then conceals [it] inside two Target bags taken from a vacant cashier stand,” the sergeant said.

As security officers watched, both headed to a baby formula aisle, where Guzman stuffed eight containers into a reusable bag he brought into the store while Kaleci kept a look out, Van Wettering said.

Guzman then covered the bag with a jacket — also stolen from Target — and the pair headed for the exits, where the store employee tried to detain Guzman for shoplifting more than $350 worth of merchandise.

He, in turn, knocked her to the ground, “elevating a 4th-degree shoplifting incident into a 2nd-degree robbery,” Van Wettering said.

The security officer seized the bag and jacket as Guzman and Kaleci fled, he said. She was not seriously injured.

Guzman was being held on $75,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with robbery and shoplifting, and Kaleci on $50,000 bail, charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and shoplifting.

Both were due for first Municipal Court appearances tonight.


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