Police arrest suspected ‘diversion’ burglars

By Kevin Canessa Jr.
Observer Correspondent

A joint investigation between the Nutley and Bloomfield police departments has led to the arrest of two men believed to be responsible for numerous diversion burglaries, the Nutley Police Department announced.

On Feb. 17, Nutley police were called to a Mountainview Ave. home after residents realized two scammers entered their home and made off with proceeds. The caller said two men came to her door claiming they were working down the street and needed to get in her basement to check the water.

She reportedly accompanied one man downstairs, while the second appeared to wait outside. Thing is, he actually entered the home at that time – and the resident later realized the duo made off with an undisclosed amount of jewelry from her bedroom.

Nutley police canvassed the area and were able to obtain video surveillance of a newer model pickup truck. The image was then broadcast to neighboring jurisdictions and police obtained information on a possible registrant.

At the same time, Bloomfield police conducting a parallel investigation involving the same suspects and vehicle worked with Nutley to identify Michaelangelo Costello, 31, and Wando Delmaro, 58, both of Jersey City.

Bloomfield detectives were able to apprehend the suspects and vehicle. Nutley police identified several items in their possession linking them to the Mountainview home – and both were charged with burglary and theft.

Through the investigation, police believe Costello and Delmaro were also responsible for a recent Bloomfield Ave. burglary and may have ties to a Union Ave. burglary also.

Director Alphonse Petracco said diversion burglaries happen when a homeowner or tenant allows someone to enter and distract them, thereby giving an accomplice the opportunity to slip inside to steal items.

Petracco commended all police personnel who worked on this investigation and thanked N.J. State Police’s Real Time Crime Center and police departments of Bloomfield, Caldwell, and Livingston for their assistance in this case.

Chief Thomas Strumolo also lauded all officers for their efforts and thanked residents who provided investigators with useful information.  He again reminded residents to exercise caution before allowing strangers into their homes. He strongly advised calling police first to check them out.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.