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​Two Men Arrested for Theft of Checks from Mailboxes Thanks to Call From Alert Resident

Fairfield (NJ) – The Fairfield Police Department announces the arrests of Jonathan Rosario (35), of Miami, FL and Byron Cooper (30), of Stockbridge, GA, for theft and other charges which occurred on April 4, 2024.  On that date at approximately 9:22 am, a resident on Glenroy Road South witnessed a vehicle pull up to their mailbox and remove an envelope containing a check that was meant to be picked up by the postal carrier.  The witness then saw the vehicle, a grey Mercedes with a blue colored license plate, drive up to a second home and remove mail from that mailbox as well.  The witness immediately called police about this suspicious activity.  Fairfield patrol units were in the area and Sgt. Christopher Hlubik located a vehicle matching that description on Sand Road near Hollywood Avenue.  Officer Jesse Schnackenberg was also in the area and the officers conducted a motor vehicle stop to investigate further.

 

It is alleged that the driver, later identified as Cooper, provided officers with a false name during the stop and both Cooper and Rosario could not provide consistent stories for why they were in the area.  It is further alleged that Cooper was in possession of a satchel which contained checks and credit cards that were not in his name. Both Cooper and Rosario were placed under arrest at this time based on the totality of the circumstances.  The vehicle was towed to police headquarters pending a search warrant.

 

It is alleged that both men stated they were staying at a hotel in Parsippany, NJ.  Detective Lieutenant Nyhuis,along with detectives Cocchi, Tilton, and Alves assisted with this case and a search warrant was obtained for their hotel room.  It is alleged that a check printer as well as blank checks were located after the execution of the warrant.

 

Rosario was charged with conspiracy for identity theft, conspiracy for receiving stolen property, conspiracy for trafficking in personal identification of another, and theft.  Rosario was later released pending an initial court date of June 5, 2024 at the Essex County Courthouse.

 

Cooper was charged with hindering his own apprehension trafficking in personal identifying information of another, receiving stolen property, forgery, identity theft, and theft by unlawful taking.  In addition, Cooper was found to be a fugitive from justice out of the state of Delaware.  He was subsequently transported to the Essex County Jail awaiting extradition.

 

“The swift action of our witness, who was also a victim in this case, to obtain a detailed vehicle description and call police right away is by far the most important aspect of this whole case.  Without this initial phone call, I am confident these two men would have gotten away,” said Public Information Officer Stacy Chiarolanza.  “It was obvious to the caller that this vehicle was not intended to pick up the mail they left in their mailbox.  While, in this instance, they did not have their flag raised to alert the postal service, we still highly recommend you do not leave mail to be picked up in your mail box.  We have seen an uptick in these types of crimes throughout the West Essex area, and strongly suggest you deliver all mail to the post office all of the time.”

 

 

 

(Charges are merely allegations until the defendantsare proven guilty or plead guilty in a court of law).

 

Issued by: Officer Stacy Chiarolanza (PIO)


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