ANOTHER CVP EXCLUSIVE: Englewood police continued to collect evidence today while obtaining an arrest warrant for a 24-year-old ex-con who they said fled through a sewer system after smashing his way out of jewelry store following a robbery Saturday.
City police joined the store owner and a good Samaritan in chasing Barris G. Simpson, 24, to the underground spillway, where he vanished, authorities said.
Simpson, charged in a warrant with first-degree robbery, cut himself smashing through the front door after the owner automatically locked it, Detective Capt. Timothy Torell told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“He is believed to have escaped with a minimal amount of jewelry, having dropped the bulk of what he originally grabbed during his escape,” Torell said, adding that he also left “a large amount of blood” behind.
Posing as a customer, Simpson entered the B & M Jewelry store on Tenafly Road around 5:30 p.m. Saturday wearing a hoodie, then pulled a large, heavy tool from his clothing and began smashing display cases, the captain said.
After swiping two trays of rings, Simpson headed for the exit, Torell said, but the owner electronically locked it.
Simpson smashed his way out and ran towards West Palisade Avenue, he said.
A citizen flagged down Lt. Kevin Hayes, who summoned backups and joined the chase. The area was quickly flooed with law enforcement, including a K-9 unit from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office.
They said they were searching the Armory Street area when they saw Simpson jumping backyard fences and climbing over parked vehicles.
Then he dropped into the spillway, they said.
“That spillway takes water in from the city’s sewer system and travels north approximately a quarter-mile underground before reaching Veteran’s Park at Tallman and West streets,” Torell noted.
Police tired sealing off the tunnel exits, but Simpson was gone, he said.
This morning, the Englewood and Hackensack fire departments, in conjunction with the Urban Search & Rescue team, assisted Englewood detectives in a secondary evidence sweep of the spillway ( NOTE: CLIFFVIEW PILOT withheld information about the sweep until it was concluded so as not to jeopardize the investigation).
If you see Simpson, or know where to find him, Torell said, DO NOT confront him.
Instead, call city detectives ( 201-568-4875 ) or the Crime Stoppers hotline ( 1-844-466-6789 ). All calls will remain confidential.
(Crime Stoppers offers rewards for information leading to arrests.)
MUGSHOT: Courtesy ENGLEWOOD PD
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