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Wallington Police Tie Drug-Using Career Criminal To Bank, Eatery Burglaries

A judge ordered Vasquez held on $7,500 bail.
A judge ordered Vasquez held on $7,500 bail. Photo Credit: MUGSHOT: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF

WALLINGTON, N.J. -- A 47-year-old Paterson drug user caught burglarizing his girlfriend's Wallington apartment was also charged with breaking into a bank and nearby restaurant, police said Friday.

The woman called police Wednesday night, telling them that Ruben Vasquez had broken into her home, Police Chief Carmello Imbruglia said.

Given its proximity to the Flapjax Pancake and Steakhouse -- which was burglarized a day earlier -- and Vasquez's drug addiction, Detective Sgt. Rock accompanied patrol officers to the apartment, Imbruglia said.

The 6-foot, 218-pound Vasquez has a criminal record stretching back more than 20 years, including for selling drugs, burglary and mostly shoplifting.

On Wednesday night, the girlfriend showed him a text from Ruben on her phone in which "he stated that he robbed a bank," the chief said.

Given her permission to enter the apartment, officers found Ruben inside, Imbruglia said.

A pile of his clothes was found near the window he'd climbed in through, the chief said.

They included a blue- and red-brimmed Cleveland Cavaliers cap and a black hoody with gray sleeves -- the same as worn in the burglaries of Flapjax and Spencer’s Savings Bank on Maple Avenue, he said.

Vasquez was carrying two $5 rolls of dimes found stolen from Flapjax, the chief added.

A judge ordered him held on $7,500 bail, charged with two counts of burglary and two of criminal mischief -- and an additional criminal mischief count for damaging a holding bench at police headquarters, Imbruglia said.

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