Since 2009, A Thief Who Snakes His Way Into Stores Has Been Unstoppable

FAIRFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in New Jersey are looking for a man who has been robbing businesses across New Jersey in the early morning hours, mostly on Sundays, and has the same m-o in every case – he slithers his way in through broken glass.

CBS 2’s Christine Sloan saw surveillance video that showed the thief kicking in the bottom of the door of a Chinese restaurant, shattering the glass, and then maneuvering his way carefully into the West Orange business. He then looked around and grabbed a butcher knife to try and pry open the cash box.

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It didn’t work, so, like a snake, he worked his way out the same way he got in — with the cash box, which contained just $6.

“We need to find out who he is, so that we can arrest him and bring him to justice,” West Orange Police Lt. Richard Levens said.

Police need to catch him because this suspect has hit more than 150 businesses and homes across New Jersey, including Bergen County and at this strip mall in Fairfield, where he robbed five businesses in just one day, including another Chinese restaurant and a dry cleaner.

“The businesses along this strip mall were all Asian owned,” Fairfield Police Deputy Chief Anthony Manna said.

He was caught on tape at a nail salon around corner, going in and, oddly, coming out with roll of paper towels.

“He was very quick. There is no doubt he is good at what he does,” Deputy Chief Manna said.

The man uses the same m-o every time — he shatters glass and slithers his way into businesses. Police say he’s extremely good at what he does. (Photo: handout)

He’s been eluding police for several years and business owners said they are on edge.

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“Put more security around this area, definitely, because right now at this time, it’s really scary. They have to,” West Orange’s Sean Baly said.

While investigators in West Orange said they believe he inserted a pry bar in between the door and frame to break the glass, police in Fairfield said his glass-shattering tool made no sound.

“Basically it’s a spring loaded center punch, where you would put it on the glass, press on it and it actually shatters glass,” Deputy Chief Manna said.

One pizza shop owner said the same suspect broke into his restaurant.

“He breaks the glass and he goes in,” Pasquale Bitiza said.

Bitiza didn’t have a camera to catch the guy on tape, so police can’t say definitively that it was him. But if you have information, or think you’ve been a victim, you’re urged to call your police department.

Police said the suspect has been operating as far back as 2009 and has only made off with small bills in each break in.

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