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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Paterson Police Coordinate Arrest In Mosque Burglary

Mevlana Camii, a Turkish-American Muslim mosque, on Bloomfield Avenue in Paterson.
Mevlana Camii, a Turkish-American Muslim mosque, on Bloomfield Avenue in Paterson. Photo Credit: COURTESY: diyanetamerica.org

PATERSON, N.J. -- Surveillance video that showed a burglar fruitlessly trying to crack open a safe in a Paterson mosque during Ramadan preparations helped produce charges against a local man, authorities said.

Detectives Benny Ramos and Jason English developed a "person of interest" in the failed June 6 attempt at the Mevlana Camii mosque that was forwarded to patrol officers, Police Director Jerry Speziale said.

This past weekend, Officers Jonathan Bustios, John Luizzi, and Evelyn Gonzalez stopped a car driven by 36-year-old Ala Abuawad and took him into custody, Speziale said.

The detectives, in turn, charged Abuawad with burglary and theft, he said.

"The coordination by the units without creating a pursuit was outstanding police work," Speziale said. "All involved played an integral role in apprehending this suspect."

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