Authorities said on Wednesday, December 22nd, at approximately 4:30 p.m., the Wayne Police Department was alerted to the theft of a package from a porch that had just occurred on Cecelia Drive.
Wayne Police Dispatchers were able to obtain a description of the actor and the suspect vehicle from the caller before the patrol arrived.
As Wayne Police Patrol Officers were responding to this first location, the Wayne Police Communications Center received a second phone call from a commercial building in the Riverview Drive area of an actor matching this same description who was observed un-packaging items and discarding the packages and boxes in their dumpster.
The actor fled the scene and other Wayne Patrol Officers responded to this location.
Upon arrival at the dumpster, Sergeant Luis Oliveira and Patrol Officers Angelo Giammanco and Joseph Carbone were able to retrieve the discarded boxes and obtain several addresses from them, including an address on Talsman Court.
These addresses were relayed to the Wayne Township Police Department Detective Bureau, who then assisted in the investigation.
During the investigation, the suspect was identified as Stephanie Ortiz, 20, of Totowa.
Detective Sergeant Vincent Ricciardelli, Detective Adrian Sulejmani and Detective Thomas Kartanowicz responded to Ortiz’s residence and established surveillance of the location.
At approximately 6:10 p.m., the suspect vehicle arrived in front of the home and Ortiz was taken into custody by the detectives mentioned above.
Shortly later, Ortiz was transported to Wayne Police Headquarters for processing.
Detectives were able to recover multiple items from a total of eight (8) addresses within Wayne Township that were targeted. Most of these items, which included holiday gifts and other goods, were returned to their respective owners on the same night.
Several of the victims provided detectives with home surveillance footage of the suspect that greatly assisted in this case.
Stephanie Ortiz was charged with two (2) counts of Theft of Moveable Property – 4th Degree crime, six (6) counts of Theft of Moveable Property – Disorderly Persons Offense and one (1) count of Tampering with Public Records – Disorderly Persons Offense.
In accordance with New Jersey State Bail Reform Law, Ortiz was released from the Wayne Township Police Department with a summons to appear at the Passaic County Superior Court on a later date.
All charges are merely accusations and the suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty.