Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp announces the arrests of Vincenzo Viola, age 37, of Orange, New Jersey and Robert P. Capriglione, age 41 of Clifton, New Jersey on charges of Robbery in violation of N.J.S. 2C:15-1, a crime of the first degree; Burglary in violation of N.J.S. 2C:18-2, a crime of the second degree; Criminal restraint in violation N.J.S. 2C:13-2a, a crime of the third degree; Criminal Coercion, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:13-5a(4), a crime of the third degree; Impersonating a Law Enforcement Officer, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:28-8(b), a crime of the fourth degree and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:35-10a(1), a crime of the third degree.
The investigation was spearheaded by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, Dover Police Department, Mendham Borough, and Mendham Township Police Departments.
This ongoing investigation by several law enforcement agencies revealed that on May 20, 2013, two victims sitting inside of a vehicle on Belmont Avenue in Dover, New Jersey, reported being robbed by two males posing as police officers.
The victims observed a dark colored four door Ford F250 diesel pickup truck with yellow letters on the side drive past them and park behind their vehicle. The defendants allegedly had flashlights and were wearing police officers’ attire when they approached the victims’ vehicle. The defendants allegedly identified themselves as Randolph Police Officers. One spoke Spanish and one spoke English. The defendants allegedly demanded the victims’ identification and asked them if they were “Illegals.” The defendants allegedly took money that was inside one of the victim’s wallet.
Approximately twenty minutes after the robbery on Belmont Avenue, Dover Police received a 911 call from a victim who reported being robbed by two Latino males posing as police officers. The victims advised that while walking in Dover Municipal Parking Lot A, they were approached by two males. The males exited a dark colored “dually” construction type truck with double doors, three rows of large letters on the door, and a wheelbarrow in the back bed. The defendants were allegedly wearing police officer attire, including dark colored police shirts and badges around their necks. One spoke Spanish while the second shorter one spoke English. The defendants allegedly took money from both victims.
On May 22, 2013 at approximately 12:00 a.m., members of the Dover Police Department responded to 109 First Street regarding an armed robbery. The victim at that location was found to be handcuffed behind his back. Allegedly the two defendants had arrived at the Dover Hills apartment complex driving a dark colored large pickup truck, possibly a diesel. The truck was further described as having large orange and white letters on the door and lights on the roof.
Dover Police spoke with two witnesses to the crime who advised that the two defendants allegedly entered the apartment building and loudly knocked on numerous apartment doors identifying themselves as police officers. The defendants ordered the occupants to open their apartment doors or they would “kick them down.” The defendants were allegedly dressed in police attire. They left, and upon the victim’s return to his apartment, he was allegedly approached by the defendants. The defendants then allegedly handcuffed him and placed him against an outside wall. The defendants allegedly brandished a handgun and robbed him of an amount of money.
Defendants Vincenzo Viola and Robert Capriglione were ultimately identified as the individuals who committed the armed robbery of May 22, 2013 and on May 20, 2013.
On Sunday May 26, 2013 at approximately 2:39 am, Mendham Township Police Officer Matthew Ambrosi was on routine patrol on Roxiticus Road in Mendham Township. As he drove by 43 Roxiticus Road a vehicle was parked there with “Green Energy Solutions” painted on its side. He was aware that such a vehicle was recently used by the defendants. The home was currently vacant as it had recently been sold. Ambrosi suspected a burglary was in progress.
Both Viola and Capriglione were located in the residence at 43 Roxiticus Road and were detained. Both were transported to the Mendham Police Department for questioning. Robert Capriglione was found to be in possession of Suboxone, a schedule III CDS, without a valid prescription.
On May 26, 2013 a search warrant was issued by the Honorable Robert J. Brennan, J.S.C. for the residence at 43 Roxiticus Road in Mendham Township as well as for the two vehicles. A subsequent search of the residence and vehicle in Mendham Township revealed two (2) police jackets, and two (2) genuine police badges on chains from police departments in Morris County. Additionally, police recovered flashlights, black gloves, black hats and suspected heroin and other drug paraphernalia. The articles of clothing located within the home are consistent with the witnesses’ descriptions provided of the clothing worn by the suspects.
The Honorable Robert J. Brennan, J.S.C. set bail at $300,000 cash for each of the defendants without a 10% cash option.
Acting Prosecutor Knapp thanks Police Chief Harold Valentine and the Town of Dover Police Department, Police Chief Steven S. Crawford and the Mendham Township Police Department, Police Chief Pasquale Libertino and the Mendham Borough Police Department, Police Chief Wayne Martini and the Chester Township Police Department, Chief Craig Handschuh and the Livingston Police Department, Police Chief James Abbott and the West Orange Police Department, Police Chief Michael Bailey and the Washington Township Police Department, Acting Police Director Hakim Sims and the City of Orange Police Department, Sheriff Edward Rochford and the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit.
Prosecutor Knapp further requests that anyone with additional information concerning these robberies or who may have been victimized by these defendants please contact the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, Major Crimes Unit, at 973-285-6212. This investigation is still active and ongoing.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they have been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Any inquiries concerning this news release can be directed to First Assistant Morris County Prosecutor/SDAG Thomas Zelante at 973-285-6252 or [email protected].