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Authorities: North Arlington officer may have had help moving stolen jewelry

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

EXCLUSIVE: Investigators have recovered a little over a third of the $4,500 worth of jewelry they said a North Arlington police officer stole from a 76-year-old borough woman. They also are investigating the possibility he had an accomplice hocking the booty.

North Arlington P.O. Paul Casale Jr.

Robert Casale Jr. had some of stolen jewelry with him when he was arrested, along with slips from a Ridge Road pawn shop, according to a police report obtained by CLIFFVIEW PILOT .

Records show Casale’s girlfriend, who lives in Nutley, also frequented the store, bringing in “expensive gold pieces.”

Although authorities have $1,540 worth in evidence, an estimated $2,960 remained unaccounted for as of early today, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.

Casale went to the victim’s house on April 21 to investigate what authorities characterized as a “heating complaint.” She told police she later discovered the items missing.

The woman told police that Casale returned this past Saturday, gaining entry through an unlocked door, according to investigators. She confronted him in the living room and he left, they said.

Casale remains free without bail pending a Municipal Court hearing on charges of theft and trespassing. He is suspended without pay pending the resolution of both the criminal charges and departmental complaints.

Meanwhile, North Arlington police are asking officers in other departments to check their local pawns shops for transactions made in either Casale’s or his girlfriend’s name.

The victim “made a positive identification on her jewelry,” including a watch, necklaces and other pieces, according to the police report. “Several stolen pieces directly matched the pieces left behind.”

Casale was hired by the borough in January 2011 after he left the Newark Police Department, where his father works.

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