A Brooklyn man was charged with theft and resisting arrest Wednesday evening after he allegedly grabbed a woman’s purse in the Linwood Plaza parking lot and tried to make a run for it, police said.
But it was thanks to the to the vigilance of two people who saw something and said something and called the police, as well as some nifty police and K-9 work, that Eliano Auborg was arrested.
Fort Lee police received a call about a “suspicious male” walking around the parking lot at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
It only took “several minutes” to apprehend Auborg, said police, who allege he took a 52-year-old woman’s purse and cash from her shopping cart as she was walking to her car.
Officers ordered Auborg to stop, but he took off on foot, police said.
A perimeter was set up, and, after another resident called to report that a man fitting Auborg’s description ran through her front yard, Fort Lee Police Officer Bryan Drumgoole and the Fort Lee K-9 found Auborg with the purse about a block away and arrested him.
Capt. Keith Bendul of the Fort Lee Police Department called the incident “a great example” of how the public and police can and should work together.
“People were in Linwood Plaza, observed suspicious activity, called and our officers responded,” Bendul said. “He winds up stealing a purse out of shopping cart in the lot from a 52-year-old female. The officers chased him, they set up a perimeter, another resident called and saw something, and our guys wound up finding him and placing him under arrest.”
Bendul added, “It’s a good example of how the community can assist us—whether it be our eyes and ears—and if they see something to say something, to call us let us and let us know.”
Bendul said the local police department depends on the assistance and cooperation of citizens, especially during the holiday season, which he noted is quickly approaching.
“I know it’s a little early yet, but the holiday shopping season is going to be coming up so this is an awareness that people can have,” Bendul said. “Not just in town, but if they’re shopping in the area or at any of the malls or anything like that. Situational awareness is always a factor.”