Alleged Burglar Arrested at Garden State Plaza
Alleged burglar, Jeremy Buttigieg, arrested at the food court of the Garden State Plaza after eluding police for a month.
Police Chief Frank Papapietro reported that New Milford police arrested Jeremy Buttigieg, age 27, of New Milford, Thursday, Sept. 20, in the food court at the Garden State Plaza.
Buttigieg is wanted in connection with a burglary that occurred on July 12 in a house on North Park Drive where jewelry and cash were taken from the master bedroom, Papapietro said.
According to Papapietro, after learning from an informant that Buttigieg was at the Garden State Plaza, Officer Kevin VanSaders and Det. Lt. Frank Ramaci were joined by Paramus detectives who located Buttigieg in the food court where he was taken into custody and removed from the mall without resistance.
"The detectives involved in the arrest of this suspect ensured that the safety of innocent bystanders was never compromised," Papapietro said.
Papapietro said that initial intelligence indicated that Buttigieg was boasting that he would not be taken easily.
"(Buttigieg) alluded to resisting arrest and police pursuits," Papapietro said.
Based on this information, Papapietro said that preliminary plans for Buttigieg's arrest called for assistance from the Bergen County Police SWAT Team to execute a high risk warrant operation if necessary.
However, Papapietro said, "Buttigieg was quickly taken into custody and extracted from the mall without an opportunity to resist or elude the officers."
Papapietro reported that at the time of the July 12 burglary, Buttigieg was being held at the Bergen County Jail on similar charges from Bogota, but was released prior to the New Milford charges being filed. He has been eluding police since.
A search of Buttigieg's house had turned up a handgun and stolen items from the North Park Drive burglary, Papapietro said.
"Buttigieg is wanted on numerous burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and weapons charges," Papapietro said. "He is also facing drug trafficking charges in both Maine and New Jersey."
Papapietro reported that Buttigieg was transported to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail from the New Milford charges and said that he is also facing charges from Bogota and Maywood, with complaints pending in Closter. He added that there is also an outstanding fugitive warrant from Maine.
Papapietro said, “We are relieved that Buttigieg is off the streets and no longer a danger to our residents."
Papapietro commended all of the officers and agencies involved in locating and arresting Buttigieg. "All the officers in New Milford, Paramus and throughout Bergen County who tirelessly worked to gather intelligence on this case are to be commended for their dedication," Papapietro said.
"They are to be congratulated for their outstanding work.”