New Milford Police have arrested Vincent Ortenzio, of New Milford and Amanda Gaeta, of Paramus, charging the 21-year-old pair in connection with an armed robbery that occured early Monday at the River Road 7-Eleven.
According to Police Chief Frank Papapietro, Ortenzio, wearing a ski mask, allegedly entered the store at approximately 3:45 a.m., displayed a handgun and took approximately $200 cash.
When Ortenzio allegedly ordered the clerk to open the cigarette case, the clerk fled the store and called police on his cell phone.
After interviewing the clerk, Papapietro said responding officers Sgt. John Moroney and Officer Brian Carlino quickly developed a lead male suspect and called in the Bergen County Police K-9 unit, along with officers from Bergenfield, Oradell, Haworth and Dumont, to assist with the search.
Ortenzio and Gaeta were located at a New Milford home, in which he was currently residing, and taken into custody, Papapietro said.
A search of the home yielded a handgun, cash and lighters as described by the store manager, as well as the mask allegedly used in the robbery. The handgun was found to be a pellet gun which resembled a larger caliber weapon, Papapietro said.
"In that split second that an officer has to make a decision, they can't tell the difference between a pellet gun and a large caliber gun," Papapietro said.
Ortenzio is charged with robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, theft, receiving stolen property, possession of drug paraphenalia and is being held at the Bergen County jail on $200,000 bail.
Bergen County jail records indicate that Ortenzio served time in 2009 for simple assault and robbery, and in 2011 for unlawful possession of a weapon, harassment and violation of probation.
Gaeta was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. She is being held at the Bergen County Jail on $75,000 bail.
Papapietro credited the quick resolve of this case with his officers strong street-level knowledge of the community.
"In piecing together certain characteristics of this case, the officers were able to narrow the field of suspects and bring this case to a quick resolution," Papapietro said.