HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A suspect has been arrested and charged in a series of brazen thefts of packages from apartment buildings in Hoboken.

Fernando L. Serrano, 33, of Union City, surrendered to Hoboken police around 1 a.m. Tuesday, police told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

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An anonymous tip led police to Serrano’s parents’ house on Monday, and detectives were on the phone with him for several hours before he surrendered, police said.

As of Tuesday night, Serrano had been charged with one count of burglary and three counts of theft of movable property, police said. He may face additional charges as police have video of other incidents in which he is suspected, police said.

Surveillance video released last week showed a suspect lurking outside an apartment building for several minutes before walking into the lobby behind a tenant. He then immediately disappears, seeming to walk into a stairwell.

Hoboken Package Theft

Surveillance video of a suspect in the theft of several packages from a Hoboken apartment building lobby. (Credit: CBS 2)

But moments later, the suspect comes out, stands behind a front door. And then seeing no one, he opens a plastic garbage bag and loads several packages into it one by one.

“He pretty much walks in like he belongs there. So I’m sure there are instances he’s gotten in, buzzed in; anybody rings bell. People aren’t paying attention,” said Hoboken police Detective Anthony Caruso. And once someone is in the building, anything can happen.”
Leena Blosky lives in the building that was targeted. Just a few months ago, several of her packages were stolen when she was away on vacation.

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“It shouldn’t be risky,” she said. “This is like a closed door. It’s locked. People shouldn’t be able to get in.”

Even when CBS 2 walked by the same building seen in the surveillance tape, the packages could be seen piled up through the door. Police said there are other options to keep your items from being picked up.

They advised that residents can:

• Get a Post Office box;

• Call ahead to arrange a pickup from mail carriers;

• Specify signature delivery only.

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