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​Wayne Resident Charged for Criminal Mischief and Theft from Vehicles at Multiple Locations Over the

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

Fairfield (NJ) The Fairfield Police Department chargedJoseph Cicchella (34), of Wayne, NJ in connection with criminal mischief and the theft of gas from multiple vehicles at multiple locations.


On Sunday, June 25, 2023 three separate businesses had gasoline drained from company vehicles that were parked in their lots.  None were reported until Monday, June 26, 2023.  Officer Raymond Puluse investigated all three cases.


On that date at approximately 1:20pm, Officer Puluse was dispatched to Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning, located at 11 Daniel Road East.  Through video surveillance, a gray Ford pick-up truck is seen on video.  Video also shows a white male wearing camouflage shorts exit the vehicle with a drill and red gasoline can.  The video allegedly shows the male drill a hole into a company vehicles gas tank and drain the gas from the vehicle.  The vehicle license plate was also recorded on the video and was shown to be registered to Cicchella.


Officer Puluse then responded to Redi-Direct, located at 107 Little Falls Road for a similar report.  Officer Puluse spoke with the reporting party who also had video surveillance showing a gray Ford pick-up truck enter his parking lot at approximately 3:49pm.  A white male wearing camouflage shorts exits the truck with a red gas can and allegedly crawls under the vehicle.  The truck leaves the lot and returns two minutes later, with the same male now retrieving the gas can from under the vehicle. It is alleged that several red gas cans can be seen in the bed of the truck on the video surveillance.


While reviewing this footage, Officer Puluse noted that the vehicle exited the parking lot of VIP Distributions, located next door at 110 Little Falls Road, prior to entering the Redi-Direct parking lot. He canvassed the parking lot at 110 Little Falls Road and found a vehicle parked with a hole drilled into the gas tank and a small amount of gas below the tank on the ground.  Officer Puluse spoke with an employee who was unaware anything had happened to the company van.  Video surveillance from this business also showed a gray Ford pick-up truck enter the lot immediately after leaving 107 Little Falls Road.  Allegedly, the same white male wearing camouflage shorts exits the vehicle at approximately 3:46pm and he is seen taking a red gas can and lying in between two vehicles.  Two minutes later he returns to his truck with the can and leaves the lot.


Detective Michael Tilton continued the investigation.  Through investigative leads and the video surveillance, he was able to positively identify Cicchella as the suspect in all three cases.  Charges were signed against Cicchella for criminal mischief and theft with an initial appearance at the Essex County Superior Court in Newark, NJ on September 7, 2023.


(Charges are merely allegations until the defendant is proven guilty or pleads guilty in a court of law).


Issued by: Officer Stacy Chiarolanza (PIO)

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