Cranford police nab bicycle thief in act

CRANFORD, NJ — Increased surveillance of the area in and around the Cranford Train Station has resulted in two arrests for bicycle theft in three weeks, following a summer spike in such thefts, Cranford police said.

On Sept. 19, detectives Spencer Durkin and Timothy O’Brien arrested 60-year-old Richard A. Harrington, of Elizabeth, at the Cranford Train Station after they witnessed Harrington utilizing bolt cutters in an attempt to steal a locked bicycle.

As the detectives approached Harrington, he refused to comply with their commands and began to resist arrest. Eventually, Harrington was taken into custody, according to a Cranford Police Department press release.

In addition to Harrington, another man had been arrested for bike theft a few weeks earlier, on Aug. 30. Matthew DiMarco, 29, of Cranford was stopped by Durkin, who was conducting an undercover surveillance detail at the time, and observed DiMarco operating a bicycle that had been reported stolen Aug. 26.

Sgt. Ryan Greco told LocalSource on Sept. 21, that DiMarco “was in possession of a bicycle that was stolen from South Avenue, but not from the train station.”

DiMarco was also found to be in possession of cocaine and heroin. He was arrested, processed, and released pending a Superior Court appearance, Greco’s report said.

“We do not believe the two individuals were working in conjunction with one another, so we believe they are unrelated,” Greco said in email on Sept. 21. “We will continue to monitor the train station, but do not have additional planned arrests imminent.”

At the Sept. 11 township committee workshop meeting, Cranford Police Chief Joseph Van Bergen addressed the issue with updates regarding security at the Cranford Train Station.

“I know we’ve had some bike thefts there. We have priced out some cameras, if we are to install them. They would be hefty in price,” Van Bergen said. “However, I have talked to (the) deputy chief commander for (NJ) Transit, and he’s going through their ranks. They are looking to place cameras there themselves at the station.”

The chief recommended that the committee wait and see what NJ Transit does before spending the money to install cameras.
“We can revisit it in our budget if we have to next year,” he said.