BOUND BROOK, N.J. — In yet another story about bungled burglary attempts in coin laundries, a man who allegedly hid in Sue’s Clothes Hangar in Bound Brook, N.J., until after closing time to search for money found he couldn’t escape, and after tripping an alarm, police found him hiding under a 6-foot pile of blankets, authorities say.
Officers say Gerson Betancourth-Romero, 27, confessed to hiding in a storage room behind the washing machines until after the coin laundry closed for the day.
After finding $5 worth of quarters, the would-be thief realized he couldn’t get out, so he cut through a wall dividing the store from next-door Artisan Jewelers, setting off that store’s burglar alarm, police said.
Betancourth-Romero retreated back to the laundry, “where he was planning on waiting all night,” so he could walk out when the store reopened, according to an affidavit.
After finding the hole in the wall of the jewelry store, which amounted to approximately $200 in damage, officers searched the building with a police dog. Sgt. John Mazuera found Betancourth-Romero under the blankets, the affidavit states.
At police headquarters, Betancourth-Romero waived his right to remain silent and recounted the night’s events to Mazuera. According to police, Betancourth-Romero admitted to burglarizing Sue’s Clothes Hanger once before and stealing about $2,000. In that incident, police say he entered the business while it was open, waited until after closing, and walked out an unlocked front door with the cash.
Betancourth-Romero was charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and one count of third-degree theft.