Teaneck police didn’t have far to look far after a Queen Anne Road home was burglarized.
After forcing their way in through a first-floor window, the burglars broke open a safe, taking $20,000 in jewelry, cash and coins while leaving behind “a white powdery residue,” Police Chief Robert A. Wilson said.
Thanks to the powder, responding officers simply followed footprints to a nearby house.
There, they found 19-year-old John-Michael C. Robertson, who lives there, and a guest, Jerry J. Whittaker, also 19, Wilson said.
The officers easily matched the pattern on his shoe soles to those left behind at the crime scene, the chief said.
Both Robertson and Whittaker confessed to the break-in, Wilson said, adding that they also copped to an unsolved Teaneck burglary on Colonial Court last month.
From there it was a matter of recovering the stolen goods.
A third suspect, Santiago A. Rivera of Park Avenue, turned himself in at headquarters soon after. Rivera, who turns 19 on Friday, brought the booty with him, Wilson said.
The cash, however, was still missing as of earlier tonight, the chief said.
“[I]t appears that Rivera and Robertson burglarized the house, while Whittaker acted as a lookout,” Wilson said.
Robertson and Rivera were being held on $30,000 bail each, and Whitaker on $15,000, in the Bergen County Jail.
All are charged with burglary and theft.
Initial Municipal Court appearances are scheduled for Monday.
ABOVE: Robertson, Rivera, Whitaker (COURTESY: Teaneck PD)