YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A Bergen County Police Department K9 unit caught a Camden man who authorities believe was responsible for a weekend holdup spree following the armed robbery of a Lodi 7-Eleven.
“He’s our guy,” an investigator told CLIFFVIEW PILOT after BCPD Detective Daniel Antinori and Eiffel found the suspect hiding in a dumpster behind a Boston Market barely 110 yards down Essex Street from the convenience store just after midnight.
“He covered himself in garbage and was a mess when they got him out,” a law enforcement source said.
Moments earlier, police said, 21-year-old Hamilton Sanchez-Olmo wore a black ski mask and used what turned out to be a BB gun to take $100 in cash from the 7-Eleven, multiple sources said.
Sanchez-Olmo was being held on $1 million bail in the Bergen County Jail. As of early this morning, he was charged with robbery by injury or threat and two weapons possession counts.
Detectives from other jurisdictions went to Lodi overnight to interview him in connection with five armed robberies in a little over 24 hours this weekend — twice in Hasbrouck Heights and once each in Garfield, Lodi and Elmwood Park. Some were expected to talk with him at the jail.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the news of his arrest just before 2:30 a.m.
Lodi Police Sgt. Louis Ruffel was on patrol when he saw the 5-foot-11, 150-pound Sanchez-Olmo run from the convenience store removing what appeared to be a mask, police said. Workers ran out and said they’d been robbed as the suspect vanished.
Officers from Hasbrouck Heights, Hackensack, Maywood and the BCPD flooded the area before Eiffel led his handler to the garbage bin.
Sanchez-Olmo then led police to the gun, ditched nearby, sources said.
As CLIFFVIEW PILOT first reported exclusively this weekend, a botched holdup and an actual robbery occurred 20 minutes and barely a mile apart Sunday night — first at a Lodi pizzeria and then back in Hasbrouck Heights, where he first struck the night before.
The robber first showed up at a Rite Aid in the 100 block of Boulevard in Hasbrouck Heights around 8:20 p.m. Saturday.
After walking halfway down an aisle, he pulled a ski mask over his face and walked straight to the front of the store, Detective Sgt. Michael Colaneri Jr. told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that night.
Pointing a black handgun, he ordered the cashier in a Spanish accent to empty the register into his black Jansport backpack, Colaneri said.
He then bolted south on Boulevard, turned a corner and got into what police believe was a dark-colored, four-door Volkswagen sedan that then headed west.
Colaneri said the 6-foot-tall, 160-pound bandit was wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, black gloves and grey and blue sneakers, as well as a yellow and black necklace.
He also had a distinguishing feature, the detective said: black gage earrings.
Later that night, police said, he hit a Sunoco station convenience store in Elmwood Park.
At 3:50 p.m. Sunday, police believe the same man pulled a gun on a CVS clerk at Midland and Van Winkle avenues in Garfield. He ordered her to put all the money from her register in his backpack “or he’ll shoot her,” they said.
He then fled with $660, they said.
They described the bandit as light-skinned, Hispanic and wearing nearly all black, including a wool hat, as well as a red scarf covering his face. They suspect he may have fled in a green Sebring convertible.
Four and a half hours later, police believe the same man tried to rob Pizza Zone at South Main Street and Lincoln Place in Lodi but left empty-handed. He was wearing a black mask and gloves, they said.
This time, however, witnesses reported seeing two women with him — both white, one with dark hair and other blonde.
Twenty minutes later, the Bergen bandit hit the Minit Mart in the 300 block of Hasbrouck Heights about a mile from the Lodi holdup.
He had the mask and backpack and what were described as silver or grey sneakers.
MUGSHOT, top: Courtesy BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF
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