PARAMUS NJ May 8 2017 - An alert security officer who spotted a Facebook user selling designer watches told police the man resembled a shoplifter who stole merchandise from Macy's, authorities said Thursday.
The man, Alfredo "Freddy Vega," 49, was arrested Wednesday and now faces shoplifting and other charges, according to Paramus Police Chief Kenneth R. Ehrenberg.
The theft of several Tommy Hilfiger watches occurred April 7 at the Westfiled Garden State Plaza, Ehrenberg said in a statement.
"The security manager at Macy's found an Internet posting that the stolen watches were being sold online by a male with a Facebook profile identified as 'Freddy Vega,'" Ehrenberg said.
"The Facebook picture resembled the suspect in the theft," the chief said.
Paramus Police Det. Mark sent out an all-points bulletin that included surveillance photos and the Facebook photo of Vega, Ehrenberg said.
After receiving the bulletin, Lt. Michael Cumiskey of the Bergen County Sheriff's Office recognized Vega from previous times Vega had been jailed, Ehrenberg said.
"Based upon this information a warrant was issued for Mr. Vega," Ehrenberg said.
About 6 p.m. on April 27, a suspect later identified as Vega shoplifted several pairs of men's shoes from J. Crew in the Bergen Towne Center, police said.
The suspect ran from the scene before police arrived.
On May 3, Paramus Police Officer David Betancourt was flagged down by a security officer at Westfield Garden State Plaza. The security officer told Betancourt that a man who had shoplifted from Sunglasses Hut the day before was again at the mall.
Vega was arrested as he got into his black BMW in the mall parking lot, Ehrenberg said.
Police said they found stolen merchandise inside the BMW.
Vega was charged with two counts of shoplifting, possession of stolen property and possession of burglary tools, Ehrenberg said. He was taken to the Bergen County Jail pending a bail hearing.
Police ask anyone with information about the crimes to call them at 201 262-3400.