YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A heroin-addicted Garfield ex-con was indicted on robbery and weapons charges today in connection with the motorcycle-aided holdup of an Elmwood Park convenience store this summer.
Bergen County sheriff’s detectives and Garfield and Elmwood Park police arrested 30-year-old Ariel Drapczynksi in the backyard of his girlfriend’s residence on Van Bussum Avenue in Garfield on Aug. 19 — four days after the holdup. They said they recovered a motorcycle they believed that he used during the robbery.
Drapcynski, who is in state prison after being sentenced in September for a drug-related evidence tampering conviction from earlier this year, was briefly hospitalized at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson for a heroin overdose after the Elmwood Park robbery, sources told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
He and an alleged accomplice, Tomasz Maczka, formerly of Garfield, also face charges in Passaic County for a convenience store robbery in Wanaque — which came after Drapcyznski posted photos of them in motorcycle helmets on Facebook.
The clerk at the Seven Days convenience mart in the 700 block of Boulevard told Elmwood Park police that she handed over cigarettes and an undetermined amount of cash after the robber came in wearing a cycle helmet and pointed a gun at her.
He then fled on a motorcycle or dirt bike, she said.
A surveillance image was posted on CLIFFVIEW PILOT within hours of the holdup and tips quickly began coming in, police said.
Before long, an arrest warrant was obtained.
Drapczynski already had a record that includes parole and probation violations, one stemming from an aggravated assault conviction with a weapon in the late 2000s.
A state judge in Hackensack issued a bench warrant for him after he skipped sentencing earlier this year on a third-degree drug conviction.
Investigators from Garfield and Elmwood Park serving the warrant originally thought they had Drapczynski holed up — and armed — in a friend’s apartment on Plauderville Avenue a day before his arrest.
They briefly made contact with him, but a law enforcement source told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that he refused to surrender.
So a perimeter was established and the street was closed between Shaw and Main streets in the mixed-use neighborhood.
Several area residents were relocated to Fire Company #5′s firehouse in the neighborhood.
The Bergen County Police Department SWAT team was then brought in.
It was later determined that Drapczynksi wasn’t there. Nor was he at two other residences that police checked.
As the search continued, Drapcyznki posted photos on Facebook of him and Maczka.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT published the photos, which led authorities to Maczka, who police said joined Drapcyznski in robbing a Quick Stop on Ringwood Avenue in Wanaque while wearing the helmets, leather jackets and bandanas over their faces. The robbers fled on a single motorcycle, authorities said at the time.
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