Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrest of Cristher Calderon-Losada (44) of Jackson Heights, N.Y., Dario Jiminez-Casteneda (44) of Wantagh, N.Y., and Juana Guerrero-Hernandez (58) of Queens, N.Y. for a variety of criminal offenses on September 6, 2022. On that date, at approximately 1:36 P.M., officers were in the parking lot of the WaWa convenience store, located at 28 Little Falls Road, taking a report of a motor vehicle crash when they were approached by two individuals who were reporting that someone just broke into their car in the same lot and stole a Chase bank money bag. The victim told the officers that the suspects’ vehicle was a white Hyundai Tucson.
Officers arrived in the area and began to search for the suspects. It was at this time that Officer Vincent Purcell spotted a white Hyundai Tucson exiting the Dunkin Donuts that is located adjacent to the WaWa store. The Hyundai, which was bearing a Florida license plate exited onto Little Falls Road and then into the Target store parking lot. At this point, the officer attempted to stop the vehicle which then actively tried to elude the officer by going around other vehicles, disregarding stop signs in the lot and accelerating. The vehicle then stopped in the parking lot it.
It is alleged that Calderon-Losado exited the vehicle from driver’s seat and walked to the front of the car. At this same time, Guerrero-Hernandez exited the front passenger side and walked around to the driver side, and both then walked to the front of the car after being ordered to stop. A third male suspect, later identified as Jiminez-Casteneda, remained in the vehicle.
It was then that Calderon-Losado began to run from the motor vehicle stop and across Route 46 being chased by Officer Purcell. He was then apprehended by Officer Purcell and Sgt. RJ Casendino.
It is then alleged that both Guerrero-Hernandez and Jiminez-Casteneda then walked away from the vehicle. Guerrero-Hernandez was taken into custody while still in the parking lot. Officers found Jiminez-Casteneda in the Target men’s room where he was taken into custody It is alleged that he was wearing a backpack that was later found to contain the Chase money bag with $6600 in cash in it.
Fairfield detectives were able to piece together the trio’s modus operandi as follows:
They often will go to a bank and begin counter surveillance of customers looking for those who are making withdrawals. This counter surveillance often includes one of them being inside of the bank while the others are in the parking lot observing the vehicles that potential victims arrive in. While the trio will target anyone, information was developed that indicated that the trio favored targeting Asians as they felt they often dealt with cash and that they would be easier to distract when the time came to commit the crime. In this case, the victim was a 56-year-old Asian female from Montville, N.J. who arrived in a 2016 Honda and who went inside the bank and made a $6600 cash withdrawal.
When the victim emerges from the bank, the trio will engage in some type of activity meant to distract the victim in order to create an opportunity to steal the withdrawn money. In this case, while the withdrawal was taking place, it is alleged that Calderon-Losado punctured one of the victim’s tires causing a flat. When the victim came outside, Calderon-Losado, who was now wearing an orange-colored traffic vest, said he was from WaWa and pointed out that she had a flat tire. He said he would assist her and redirected her to the air pump located in the rear parking lot of WaWa. While he was keeping her distracted, it is alleged that Jiminez-Casteneda stole the bank bag containing the money. Fairfield detectives were also able to develop information that this trio, and others like them, are continually out there engaging in this criminal activity.
All three suspects were charged with resisting arrest, burglary, theft, obstruction and four counts each of conspiracy. In addition, Calderon-Losado was also charged with eluding and criminal mischief. Jiminez-Casteneda and Guerrero-Hernandez were released on their own recognizance while Calderon-Losado was transported to the Essex County Jail. All are scheduled to appear in the Superior Court in Newark.
“Thankfully, this was a case of our officers happening to be in the right place at the right time and we are glad that we were able to recover the victim’s hard-earned money. Just as important is the information developed by our detectives which may help to solve several other unsolved crimes in other jurisdictions and also to show the public how brazen and cunning these criminal groups can be” said Chief Anthony G. Manna.