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Mahwah resident snaps cellphone pic, police find would-be burglar under bed

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A homeless former Washington Township man out on bail pending court hearings for burglaries and thefts in other towns was found hiding under a bed by Mahwah police this morning after a  quick-thinking resident who saw him casing the neighborhood snapped a photo with her cellphone.

Chief James Batelli said Mahwah’s 911 dispatch center got the call just after 11 a.m. from a Winter Terrace woman.

She said she’d seen the suspect walking outside her house, just off Franklin Turnpike, and then forwarded the photo.

Officer immediately hit the neighborhood and found an unlocked back door to a nearby house.

Inside, Batelli said, Officer Michael Blondin found 27-year-old Joseph Lisanti hiding in a second-floor bedroom, Batelli said.

He was carrying a multi-tool device, the chief said.

Lisanti, who was arrested in Hackensack and released for possession of heroin and a hypodermic needle just two days ago, told police he took a train to Mahwah, Batelli said.

Lisanti, who’s been free on $25,000 bail pending court hearings for burglaries and thefts in Ho-Ho-Kus and Washington Township, “stated he had just entered the residence when he looked through a window and observed a patrol car turn onto the street and decided to hide under a bed,” the chief said.

He was charged with criminal trespassing and possession of burglar tools.

Bail information wasn’t immediately available.

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