LEONIA, N.J. -- A fingerprint found at the scene of a Leonia burglary led to charges against a borough man for the theft of several cars that he then sold in Paterson, authorities said.
Fred Harakandi, 18, admitted stealing the cars, as well breaking into a local home, Capt. Scott Tamagny said.
Fair Lawn police had arrested him for swiping laptops, a cellphone and money from unlocked cars when analysis of a fingerprint lifted by the Bergen County Sheriff's Bureau of Criminal Identification from a burglary scene came back a match, Tamagny said.
Detective Sgt. Christopher Garris charged Harakandi after interviewing him, assisted by Tamagny, the captain said.
Harakandi "stated that he would look for parked cars that were unlocked and had a key fob left in the vehicle during the early morning hours," Tamagny said. "After stealing a car, Harakandi would drive to Paterson and attempt to sell stolen proceeds from the cars."
Leonia police charged Harakandi with stealing:
- a Subaru Impreza on Aug. 24;
- a Toyota Prius on Aug. 29;
- another Prius on Aug. 31;
- an Audi A7 on Sept. 16.
All but the Audi were recovered in Paterson, Tamagny said.
Harakandi also was charged with burglary and theft from a Sept. 14 break-in of a home in the 600 block of Grand Avenue, and for joyriding in an Audi stolen from Palisades Park a day later, he said.
He also was charged in connection with a June crime spree in Leonia and Palisades Park involving a juvenile and Eryc Simeoli, also of Leonia, who recently was re-arrested by Leonia police who said they found him breaking into cars .
Harakandi remained held on $25,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail.
Tamagny, meanwhile, reminded citizens to always lock their vehicles and to never leave valuables – especially key fobs – inside.