ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT: An Edgewater cop fired at least one shot at a thief who used a police cruiser as a getaway car after a group of officers interrupted an overnight jewelry store break-in involving an alleged member of the infamous “Ninja bandit” burglary crew, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
INSET: Nazmi Papraniku
The police car was found intact in Teaneck, its engine still running, around 9:30 this morning — some eight or so hours after two burglars and a lookout tried pulling off the heist by cutting through the wall of a vacant storefront, a source with direct knowledge of the incident said.
The thieves targeted Taline Jewelry, which is in the same River Road shopping center as the Binghampton Restaurant and Trader Joe’s, just off Russell Avenue.
They apparently went in through the empty retail space and tried cutting their way through a common wall when Edgewater police interrupted the burglary sometime around 1:30 a.m., the source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Two of those believed involved, but a third apparently did an end run, slipped into an occupied cruiser and took off. Shots were fired, independent sources confirmed, but they couldn’t say exactly how many.
No one was injured, they said.
Meanwhile, the bandit remained at large as of 7 p.m. tonight.
One of the two men arrested, 27-year-old Fadil Sadiku of New Hyde Park, Long Island, said he had food poisoning, although a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the arrests said he was observed in the borough holding cell sticking his finger down his throat.
Both he and the other defendant, Nazmi Papraniku, 28, from Staten Island, were to be transferred to the Bergen County Jail as soon as Sadiku’s health situation was resolved, the officer told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
Papraniku is of particular interest. Originally of Staten Island but now with a New Hyde Park address, as well, he was among several Albanians whom the NYPD identified as suspects in what Staten Island residents dubbed the “ninja burglaries” — a series of home and business break-ins involving mostly jewelry in 2007 and 2008, records show.
The nickname came after a witness reported seeing one of the thieves in his kitchen dressed like a ninja and carrying nunchucks, a claim police at the time doubted.
Papraniku pleaded guilty to unrelated attempted burglary charge on Staten Island and was supposed to have been deported, according to public records.
An associate of his, 28-year-old Bashkim Capa, was arrested at the time, as well, but the case was dropped for lack of evidence.
A Municipal Court judge in Edgewater today ordered Papranikua and Sadiku held on $50,000 bail each, charged with burglary, resisting arrest, criminal arrest and possession of burglar tools.
Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino’s Bureau of Criminal Identification checked the recovered cruiser for fingerprints or other identifying evidence. Ballistics tests were expected on the service weapon.
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