WAYNE, N.J. -- A quality surveillance camera caught clear images of a 51-year-old Paterson ex-con driving a stolen state Treasury Department van stealing copper piping and fixtures from a supply trailer early Friday, said Wayne police who arrested him a short time later.
Construction workers at the Sisco Village complex on Runnymede Drive reported the theft at 6:45 a.m. Friday, Capt. Laurence Martin said.
Video surveillance systems picked up "clear images" of Vincent M. Fornino breaking a chain that locked the trailer, removing several pieces of copper and loading it into the white van around 5:35 a.m., Martin said.
Detective James Faber and Dennis Ferray quickly discovered that the van was reported stolen a week ago Thursday from Mill Street in Paterson, the captain said.
Examining countywide data bases, they noticed that the van was seen in the area of Edmunds Street in Paterson.
Both investigators, joined by Detective Paul Kindler, found the unoccupied vehicle on Rossiter Street.
So they waited.
Soon after, Fornino showed up, got into the van and was immediately taken into custody -- barely five hours after the burglary occurred, Martin said.
The detectives then contacted someone at a Garfield scrap yard where, the captain said, Fornini had sold the stolen copper.
Fornino -- who is awaiting action on a heroin arrest from last fall -- was charged with burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.
The stolen van was recovered and towed back to Wayne, while arrangements were made to return the copper to the construction company.
"Our officers should be proud of this fast turn-around and apprehension without incident," Martin said.