LEONIA, N.J. – A 66-year-old ski-masked ex-con walked red-handed out of a Leonia hair salon as police responded to the burglary before dawn Thursday, authorities said.
Sgt. David Stein was on patrol in the Broad Avenue business district when he heard a “metallic bang” from behind Celebrity Salon around 1:45 a.m., Capt. Scott Tamagny said.
Stein and backup Officer Eduardo Millan entered a small alley behind the store, found the rear door pried open and spotted Stephen D. Searcey, he said.
Besides the black ski mask, Searcey was wearing a black wool cap and black gloves and carrying a black backpack as he emerged from the rear door, Tamagny said.
They took him into custody without incident and found Searcey carrying a pry bar, hammer, chisel, screwdriver and flashlight, he said.
He also had cash and a stolen credit card, the captain said.
Searcey was released on a summons charging him with burglary and possession of burglary tools.
Rutherford police last year said they found Searcey hiding in the closet of a local yoga studio with a stack of stolen money and tools that they said he used to pry open a safe.
A Leonia investigation was continuing.