YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An accused burglar who vowed not to be taken alive has had more charges added to what’s become a growing list, these in New Milford.
New Milford Officer Kevin VanSaders was reviewing open burglary cases when he realized that two not only fit 27-year-old Jeremy Michael Buttigieg’s M.O. — they were also in his neighborhood.
The victims in both cases identified jewelry that police found in Buttigieg’s apartment after his arrest in September as theirs, Police Chief Frank Papapietro said.
VanSaders and Det. Lt. Frank Ramaci went to the Bergen County Jail and, with his lawyer present, charged Buttigieg with the two break-ins following a confession, the chief said.
Police didn’t have to summon the SWAT team three months ago, as first thought, when they caught up to Buttigieg at the food court at the Garden State Plaza. He was swiftly snatched, cuffed and ushered out before anyone else knew what happened.
Buttigieg, who bears the tattoo “Death Before Dishonor” in script on his chest, apparently “was boasting that he would not be taken easily and alluded to resisting arrest and police pursuits,” Papapietro said at the time.
“Preliminary plans for his arrest [included] assistance from the Bergen County Police SWAT Team to execute a high-risk warrant operation if necessary,” the chief said.
At the time, Buttigieg was wanted out of New Milford. But there are also charges against him from Bogota and Closter — and, now, the additional New Milford counts.
As CLIFFVIEW PILOT originally reported, Buttigieg admitted breaking into into a Closter home and took a jar with from $300 to $400 while working a job for a Mahwah pool company at the house next door. He apparently also copped to the Bogota break-in.
Buttigieg was tied to a July 12 New Milford break-in through a match of fingerprints and a search of his apartment — where police found stolen jewelry and coins, as well as a loaded .25-caliber Berretta in a backyard storage shed, Papapietro told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
He lives up the block from the break-in, the chief said.
Buttigieg was in the wind after posting $25,000 bail following his arrest for another burglary — this one in Bogota — when police tracked him down at the mall.
He remains held in the Bergen County Jail on a combined $75,000 bail.
Once the Bergen County charges are dealt with, authorities in Maine want him, too.
(MUGSHOT: Bogota PD)