'Cardboard Thieves' Boxed Up By Cops

Authorities accuse men of making more than (Styrofoam) peanuts off of Walmart's recycling

NORTH JERSEY -- A group of cardboard thieves netted more than $100,000 in the past three months stealing bales of cardboard from Walmart and Sam's Club stores across New Jersey and selling the crushed boxes to recyclers, authorities said Tuesday.

Neil Devito, 34, of Old Bridge, and John Nichols, 38, of Staten Island, were arrested Tuesday and charged with theft, conspiracy and fencing, the Attorney General's Office announced in a release. Charges were pending against a third man, Vincenzo Grasso, 46, of Staten Island.

Police said spotters would go to Walmart and Sam's Club stores on the hunt for cardboard awaiting picking by contracted recycling companies, but would instead swoop in and snatch the waste.

Authorities said the ring lifted 900 tons of carboard from the stores, which they sold for $125 per ton.

"This group invested a considerable amount of time to create an enterprise with the sole purpose to steal cardboard," said Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey state police. "There are serious money and organizational skills involved here that could have been used for lawful purposes."

Troopers seized two tractor-trailers, and three flatbeds at the South Amboy lot where Nichols was arrested, authorities said. The trucks are registered to a firm owned by Devito, according to the release.

Authorities are also trying to seize three 2012 Cadillac Escalades that they say were used in the operation.

"Today’s arrests serve as a high watermark in tackling the growing challenge of recycling theft in this region," said New York Business Integrity Commission  Chair Shari Hyman.

Bud Fox July 27, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Ricky July 27, 2012 at 12:40 PM
A few days back was another example of personal revenge, a grudge against a company, this is another example of do what you want, even break the law cause I don't like them.
Ricky July 27, 2012 at 12:43 PM
< the cops and feds should be worrying about all the shootings and drugs> They handle all crimes whether you consider them minor or not, and thank goodness they don't listen to you by allowing others to break the law because you don't think it's that big a deal.
anthony j. popola July 28, 2012 at 12:45 PM
goombas? i guess protestants don't steal cardboard...you wouldn't make that remark if they were black or hispanic...
stephen moscatello July 30, 2012 at 08:42 PM
You might think its a victimless crime , Im in the business and when you bid on trash and recycling and all you get is the trash you get hurt . And forget about the stores they derive a small portion of the ''profits'' but for me it offsets high fuel labor and insurence costs . .


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