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Wallington PD: Thief Who Took WWII Vet's Wallet Caught In East Rutherford

Ernest D. Wilson III
Ernest D. Wilson III Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Wallington PD

WALLINGTON, N.J. -- A U.S. Marine Corps veteran of World War II had his wallet stolen after he left it on the counter of a Wallington convenience store -- and police later grabbed the man who they said took it.

The accused thief -- 38-year-old Ernest D. Wilson III of Passaic -- was behind the victim in line at the "Food Mart For U" on Paterson Avenue on Saturday, Detective Lt. Shawn Kudlacik said Thursday morning.

Wilson, a frequent customer, tried snatching the wallet while paying for lottery tickets but was interrupted by the clerk, Kudlacik said.

After getting the tickets, he took the wallet and left, then drove off in a black Chevy Tahoe, the lieutenant said.

Inside the wallet was $300 in cash, a Veterans Administration card a Blue Cross/Blue Shield medical card and family photos.

Wallington police issued a bulletin to surrounding agencies -- and on Monday East Rutherford police stopped Wilson in his truck.

Wilson "was wearing the same Northface hooded jacket" that he'd had on in the store, Kudlacik said.

A judge ordered him held on $2,500 bail on theft charges.

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