Police file 80 burglary charges against two homeless men | Paterson Times

Police file 80 burglary charges against two homeless men


City police arrested a pair of out-of-town burglars who targeted local homes and businesses, said police director Jerry Speziale.

Christopher O’Connell, 37, of Georgia, and Michael Mazziotte, 20, of Connecticut, were arrested Friday morning and charged with 80 burglaries charges.

O’Connell and Mazziotte caused over $125,000 worth of damages due to the burglaries, said the director. The two homeless drug users lived behind US Fried Chicken on Straight Street, said Speziale.

The pair targeted 15 locations operated by cellphone providers Sprint, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless, said Speziale. O’Connell, who worked as a sub-contractor in wireless communication industry, had codes to locks that allowed him to appear legitimate while illegally accessing cell tower facilities without setting off alarms.

“O’Connell had the knowledge of what was valuable and would not interrupt service,” said Speziale.

Police established a plainclothes burglary detail under the command of detective captain Heriberto Rodriguez to locate the perpetrators of the burglaries.

Detectives Jason English and Todd Pearl conducted field interviews that ultimately led to the arrest of the two out-of-town men. Police closed in on the two suspects at about 10 a.m. on Friday.

Mazziotte was arrested on Straight Street and Broadway. O’Connell was arrested a little bit later at the intersection of Summer Street and Broadway, said the director.

The two face 80 charges involving eight locations and 15 burglaries. They were charged with burglary, theft, and criminal mischief, said the director.

Mazziotte was additionally charged with having in possession burglary tools, said Speziale. The director praised the work of city detectives for stopping widespread damage by arresting the two career burglars.

“The officers involved did a fantastic job as they do daily,” said Speziale. “If you commit a crime, our officers will catch you and bring you to justice, regardless of the crime.”