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Multi-County Serial Burglary Suspect Arrested; Responsible For At Least 70 Commercial Burglaries

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The Haddon Township Police Department announced that on Thursday, January 25, 2018, Detective Sergeant Joseph Johnston, Detective Mark Pagano, and Detective Timothy Hak successfully concluded a lengthy investigation into numerous commercial burglaries all committed by one suspect throughout the State of New Jersey.

Taken into custody without incident at his home was Dennis M. Niceler, age 56, of the 200 block of West White Horse Pike, Galloway Township, N.J.

This investigation originated on the morning of August 15, 2016 with a call to the Haddon Township Police Department after employees of Giumarello’s Restaurant, located at 329 Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township, New Jersey, arrived at work and discovered that the business had been burglarized overnight.

Detectives investigating the scene discovered through surveillance evidence that the suspect concealed his identity by wearing a ski mask and gloves and spent a significant amount of time on scene. Also notable, was the suspect’s unique methodical approach to burglarizing the business.

Months later, on December 14, 2016, Haddon Township police officers were called to another overnight restaurant burglary, which occurred at The Taproom & Grill located at 427 W. Crystal Lake Avenue, Haddon Township, New Jersey. While processing this scene, detectives began to notice numerous similarities to the previous burglary at Giumarello’s.

With no witnesses to these crimes, the absence of DNA or fingerprint evidence, and no suspicious vehicles or license plate evidence captured on area surveillance systems, detectives began to track any similar restaurant, bar and commercial burglaries throughout the South Jersey region. As they tracked these crimes, they began to identify numerous burglaries they felt strongly were committed by the same suspect. Each and every burglary was committed utilizing the same modus operandi. The suspect concealed himself wearing similar attire, had a similar physique and posture, would cut alarm wires and exterior audible devices, would redirect cameras and disable lighting and would always target offices and safes. Detectives then began looking back in time, scouring over previously reported burglaries of this nature. Once again, they identified numerous open cases they believed were committed by the same suspect as far back as 2013.

This past Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017 at just before 2:00 AM, the Gloucester Township Police Department was dispatched to a strip of businesses on College Drive for a suspect who was witnessed on the rooftops of several businesses. Officers quickly arrived and took the male into custody after he jumped from the rooftop of a business and was unable to flee.

Dennis Niceler

As a result of that arrest, and the numerous similarities that were identified, Haddon Township Detectives coordinated with the Gloucester Township Police Department and obtained search warrants for the suspect’s automobile and electronic devices. Haddon Township Detectives later executed a search warrant of the suspect’s home in Galloway Township, New Jersey.

As a result of information gleaned through this investigation, Detectives learned some of the unique tactics utilized by this suspect. They learned that the suspect would select his targets by conducting a significant amount of Internet research of each business. He would utilize Google and Bing maps. He would also utilize Facebook photos, restaurant websites and virtual tours to gather as much information as possible. Through those sources he was able to establish business layouts, door and window locations, office locations and, in some cases, alarm panel and safe locations.

The Haddon Township Police Department would like to commend the Haddon Township Criminal Investigation Division for their teamwork and dedication, without which success of this magnitude would not have been possible. Special recognition is given to Detective Timothy Hak for his tenacity, diligence and investigative expertise.

Finally, the Haddon Township Police Department would like to thank the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, the New Jersey State Police Real Times Crime Center South, the Gloucester Township Police Department, the Berlin Borough Police Department and the Berlin Township Police Department for the assistance they provided throughout this investigation. With the arrest of this suspect, business owners throughout South Jersey can rest a little easier knowing he will hopefully be out of commission.

List of completed and attempted burglaries Committed by Niceler:

Haddon Township
Tap Room Bar & Grill
Giumarello’s Restaurant

Cherry Hill
Vitarelli’s
Caffe Aldo Lamberti

Audubon
The Kove

Medford Township
Femmina Italia Grill

Evesham Township
Links Golf Club
Mexican Food Factory
Mikado Japanese Restaurant

Waterford Township
Zito’s Tavern

Gloucester Township
Amanda’s Bar None
Filomena’s Restaurant

Bridgewater
The Green Knoll Grille

Old Bridge Township
Big Ed’s BBQ

Montgomery PD
Red Oak Diner

Edgewater Park Township
45th Street Pub

Burlington Township
Fratelli’s

Berlin Borough
Pasta Vino
Woodbriar Inn

Washington Township
Terra Nova

Hamilton Township
Cousin Mario’s Restaurant
Cavallino Nero Restaurant
Napa Auto Parts
Mays Landing Diner
Laureldale Pub & Grill
Atlantic Nursery

Voorhees Township
Fieni’s Ristorante
Green Lea Garden & Patio
Lindenwold
Don Tequila Bar and Grill

Winslow
The Alibi Room
Golden Nugget
Clancy’s Pub

Marlboro Twp
Brioso Italia Restaurant

Bordentown Township
Chickies & Pete’s
The Parlor
Alstarz Sports Bar

Galloway Township
Tailgater’s Bar & Grill
Vincenzo’s
Atlantic Medical Supply
Tre Figlio
USA Gas
Romanelli’s
Galloway Diner
Galloway Liquors
Al’s Custard
Bull Dog’s Bar and Grill
Jiang’s Chinese Restaurant

Egg Harbor Township
Nizam’s Restaurant
Touch of Italy
Bobs Garden Center

Egg Harbor City
Spanish Eyes Pub

Hazlet
Neil Michael’s Steakhouse

Medford Township
Illiano’s Restaurant

Absecon
Mino’s Bakery

Buena Borough
Hardings American Grill

Little Egg Harbor Township
JT’s Restaurant

Stafford Township
Ichiban Buffet

Rio Grande
Green Street Market

Cape May Court House
Country Club Tavern

Florence Township
Bung’s Tavern

Vineland
Larry’s II
Chestnut Diner & Bistro

Barnegat
Lefty’s Tavern

Sea Girt
Harrigan’s Pub

(Source & Image: Haddon Twp. PD)

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