Police: Fort Lee Home Burglars Caught in the Act
Three men wearing masks and carrying flashlights were caught after police surrounded the residence and found a pillowcase full of jewelry, authorities said.
Police interrupted a burglary in progress Thursday night, finding three men and a pillowcase filled with jewelry, authorities said.
Derek Edwards, 45, of Hackensack, Steve Saulter, 44, and Walter Southerland, 39 —both of Teaneck— were charged with burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools. Police described the men as “known career burglars throughout the county,”
Fort Lee police units responded to a call of a burglary at 150 English St. at about 10 p.m. Thursday after a neighbor heard a loud noise, according to Fort Lee police.
When they arrived at the scene, officers set up a perimeter after determining that the front door of the three-unit, three-storey condominium had been forced open with nobody at home, police said.
The officers saw one of the three alleged burglars attempting to flee the residence through a back door, and then retreating back into it when he saw officers outside, police said.
Police said they believed there were two alleged burglars hiding on the second floor and surrounded the residence. The Bergen County K-9 Unit also responded, police said.
Edwards and Saulter surrendered to police shortly thereafter and were taken into custody “without incident,” police said.
The K-9 Unit subsequently searched and cleared the residence, but when the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) was processing the scene, they found Southerland allegedly hiding under a couch on the main floor of the building, police said.
All three men were wearing gloves and masks and carrying flashlights during the alleged break in, according to police, who also said they found a pillowcase full of jewelry in the basement of the building.
Police are still investigating whether the three men were involved in a similar incident on Crescent Way Thursday night.
Bail for Edwards, Saulter and Southerland was set at $75,000 each, police said.