Nutley man arrested in suspected burglary: Lyndhurst PD

The Lyndhurst Police Department collared a Nutley man they believe was responsible for the burglary of a residence at which he once likely did HVAC work, Det. Lt. Vincent Auteri, the public-information officer of the Lyndhurst PD, says.

James Defazio, 43, was wanted for the reported burglary of a Lyndhurst residence — and here’s how his arrest went down, according to Auteri.

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022, at approximately 5:35 p.m., officers responded to a report of an abandoned vehicle on the 400 block of Valley Brook Avenue. Upon arrival, officers learned the vehicle, a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe, was registered to Defazio. Additionally, the vehicle had sustained front-end damage and was missing its front-right tire.

Witnesses provided a description of the man who had simply walked from the vehicle after parking it curbside. The vehicle was subsequently impounded for being a hazard on the roadway.  There were no reports of any nearby motor vehicle hit and run crashes.

Later that night, Defazio responded to Lyndhurst PD HQ, after he learned his vehicle had been impounded.  Defazio was advised his vehicle was under investigation for the damage. He claimed the damage was old and he had pulled off to the side of the street after suffering a tire blow-out down the road from where he pulled over.

Defazio was then instructed to return the next business day to begin the process of getting his SUV back once the police investigation was complete.

The next morning — Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022 — the Lyndhurst PD received a report of a residential burglary in the area where Defazio’s vehicle had been abandoned.  A short time later, a Township of Lyndhurst employee discovered along the rear of the municipal building several items which appeared to have been dropped or discarded.

A review of the building’s exterior video surveillance revealed during his initial response to the Lyndhurst PD the evening before, Defazio had discarded what was determined to be proceeds from the burglary as he approached the building’s entrance.

A day later — Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022 — Defazio returned to LPD headquarters where he was questioned about the burglary and subsequently placed under arrest. A search warrant was then executed on his car and Nutley apartment and that uncovered additional proceeds from the burglary. Further investigation revealed Defazio had been employed by an HVAC company in Nutley that had previously done work at the residence where the burglary took place.

Defazio was charged with the following burglary by forcefully entering a structure without authorization to be there, theft by unlawfully taking certain moveable property and three counts of receiving stolen property by knowingly possessing property belonging to the victim.

Defazio was remanded to the Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, and was scheduled for a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court.

“The Lyndhurst Police Department would like to thank the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department Crime Scene Unit for their assistance in this investigation,” Auteri said.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off 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 Facebook Live, 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 West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.