A Galloway Township man is linked to at least 70 commercial burglaries throughout the state dating back to 2013, Haddon Township police said.
Dennis Niceler, 56, allegedly used the internet to scope out the businesses, finding out layouts locations and, in some cases, even the alarm panels, police said.
He was arrested last week at his home, following an investigation by Detective Sgt. Joseph Johnston, and Detectives Mark Pagano and Timothy Hak that began with the burglary of Giumarello’s Restaurant in Haddon Township on Aug. 15, 2016.
Surveillance showed the suspect used a ski mask and gloves to conceal his identity. Three months later, Haddon Township detectives saw numerous similarities while investigating a burglary at The Tap Room & Grill on Dec. 14, 2016.
“As they tracked these crimes, they began to identify numerous burglaries they felt strongly were committed by the same suspect,” police said, noting each was committed using the same methods. “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.”
As the detectives tracked the crimes, they started to find more that fit the suspect, including open cases dating as far back as 2013.
They caught a break this past Christmas Eve, when Gloucester Township police were called to College Drive at about 2 a.m. for the report of man on the roofs of several businesses.
Niceler was arrested when he broke his ankle jumping from a rooftop, and couldn’t escape, according to the report.
The Haddon Township detectives coordinated with Gloucester Township police, and soon obtained search warrants for Niceler’s vehicle and electronic devices. They late got a search warrant for his Galloway home.
What was unique, police said, is Niceler would conduct “a significant amount of Internet research,” using Google and Bing mpas, 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,” police said.
“With the arrest of this suspect, business owners throughout South Jersey can rest a little easier knowing he will hopefully be out of commission,” police said