Police have arrested four people who they say beat up a gas station courier and stole $60,000 from him outside a Mahwah business in January.
According to Police Chief Jim Batelli, an “extensive” investigation carried out by the Mahwah PD and West Paterson FBI office led cops to arrest four men from Elizabeth in connection with the robbery.
On Jan. 22, police said that an employee of ADDP Enterprises – a company that operates gas stations throughout the state and has a headquarters on Route 17 in Mahwah – was followed while conducting several cash pick-ups at 12 gas stations between Elizabeth and Mahwah.
Two masked men confronted the courier outside the ADDP corporate office, punched him in the face and chest, and stole the bag with the funds he had collected, which totaled about $60,000, Batelli said. Two other men were seen on surveillance cameras waiting inside the building for the man, police said.
Cameras at the building showed what the men were wearing, but not their faces, Batelli said.
Mahwah lead investigators Detectives Kevin Herbert, Guido Bussinelli, and Michael Grassi conducted a ten-month long investigation that included looking into the car the four were driving, reviewing surveillance footage from the headquarters and the 12 gas stations, interviewing witnesses, and more, Batelli said.
The long investigation resulted in four arrests, police said.
- Alexander Bergero, 34, was arrested on Oct. 8 on robbery and theft charges, Batelli said. Cops say they believe he drove the getaway car. He was brought to the Bergen County Jail on $300,000 bail and has since been bailed out, police said.
- Julian A. Pena Santana, 26, was arrested on Oct. 14 on robbery, assault, and theft charges, Batelli said. Bail has been set at $300,000, police said.
- Luis Bernabel, 23, was arrested on Oct. 31 on robbery, assault, and theft charges, Batelli said. According to police, he is currently incarcerated in the Middlesex County Jail on unrelated charges, and $300,000 bail has been set in connection with this incident.
- Fabian Filloy, a former employee of the Valero in Elizabeth, was also arrested and charged with robbery and theft on Oct. 31, Batelli said. He has been remanded to the Bergen County Jail on $300,000 bail, police said.
Police are continuing to look for a fifth person they believe was involved, Batelli said. Cops say they believe he has fled the state, and the Mahwah PD is currently working with the US Marshal’s Office in an attempt to locate him.
None of the stolen money has been recovered, Batelli said.
The Chief commended the work of township officers and the FBI in the four arrests.
“The investigation lasted over ten months and entailed both technological and forensic examinations along with countless hours of investigative work and interviews,” he said Wednesday.
“The Mahwah Police Department wishes to acknowledge the expert assistance from the FBI field office in West Paterson.”