Police: Two men stole about 140 shopping carts from Rochelle Park ShopRite

Officials say that beginning on March 27 and ending on April 9, almost 140 carts valued at $200 each were missing from the parking lot.

Joti Rekhi

Apr 11, 2024, 4:56 PM

Updated 38 days ago

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Two men are accused of stealing roughly 140 shopping carts from the ShopRite in Rochelle Park, according to police.
Rochelle Park police worked with the grocery store’s loss prevention team to track the suspects down through surveillance video.
Officials say that beginning on March 27 and ending on April 9, almost 140 carts valued at $200 each were missing from the parking lot.
“Hats off to them, they did a great job,” said Detective Nick Mercoun, of the Rochelle Park Police Department. “They went back to about March 28 and they said someone’s been coming in a red van and stealing their shopping carts. They were able to get a license plate, a make and model of the van, and they pointed us in the right direction of the parking lot to look if it were to happen again.”
Alfredo Rodriguez, 77, of Elizabeth and 54-year-old Hector Cortes, of Newark, were caught in the act earlier this week. Officers approached the van on April 9 and found five carts loaded in the rear of the vehicle.
“It’s not every day you have a 77-year-old man stealing shopping carts,” said Mercoun. “One or two I can understand, but 140 of them? I can understand why everyone thinks it’s crazy.”
The two men were charged with theft, receiving stolen property, burglary tools and possession of property derived from criminal activity.
Police detectives are continuing to determine if they were involved in each of the past thefts.
“I’m not sure if they’re scrapping them and making money from there or if they’re selling them to other small stores,” Mercoun said.
ShopRite reported a loss of about $28,000.


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