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DV Pilot police & fire

Neither rain nor wind, etc., keeps cops from solving storm-time break-in

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

ONLY ON CLIFFVIEW PILOT : Cliffside Park police were battling pouring rain and wicked winds in the middle of the night when a burglary call came in. A short time later, they had a suspect in custody — and three break-ins solved.


It was at the height of storm, just after midnight Sunday, when officers headed to John M. Giancola’s apartment following a break-in at a Palisade Avenue mini-mart, said Detective Capt. Michael Russo.

Giancola, 42, doesn’t exactly blend in: A few years ago, police found him carrying a stolen cash register down the street. He later served 16 months in state prison.

John M. Giancola (NJDOC photo)

This time, Detective James Garramone checked with Scotty’s Taxi about any fares that had come in after midnight. Sure enough, Giancola had called for a ride to New York City.

His girlfriend was waiting outside but ran back in as Officers Claudio Barone and Michael Gardenier pulled up, Russo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Giancola was waiting inside — only he had on different clothing than what Officer Michael Giampietro saw the burglar wearing on a store surveillance tape.

However, those clothes were found, soaking wet, in a hamper bag, Russo told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

“With all the rain and the emergencies going on out there, the officers did a really good job with this,” Russo said.

Not only that: They also tied him to two other break-ins this month:

In the first, they said, Giancola threw a municipal garbage can through the glass door of a liquor store on Palisade Avenue, off the corner of Lawton Avenue shortly before 3 a.m. March 7 and made off with $455.

The other occurred two nights later, around 1:30 a.m., at Campbell’s deli on Anderson Avenue, off the corner of Lafayette Avenue. Police said Giancola took $150 in cash from the register there after smashing the front door window with a large rock.

Giancola was bailed out Sunday morning (10% of $20,000) and remains free pending a court appearance on three counts each of burglary and theft.

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