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Wyckoff Cops Catch 'Motorcycle Burglar'

Lee A. Malsch, of Paterson, was arrested Friday for the July 26, 2011, burglary of a Nancy Lane home.

The aggressive pursuit by two Wyckoff Police detectives of the person cops believe is responsible for the July 2011 burglary of a Nancy Lane home has led to the arrest of a 51 year old Paterson man, according to Wyckoff Police.

Lee A. Malsch, who is last known to have resided on 40th Street in Paterson, was arrested by Wyckoff Police Friday and charged with burglary and theft.

Malsch was unofficially dubbed the “motorcycle burglar,” after he was observed by a neighbor fleeing from the home after activating an alarm, police said Friday.

The Nancy Lane homeowner was arriving home at the same time and passed the motorcycle on her street before she knew her home had been burglarized; almost $3,000 worth of jewelry was stolen, officials said. Officers processing the original crime scene found latex gloves in the roadway that were discarded while the motorcycle was driving away, and blood droplets were found in the home.

The evidence was used to obtain a DNA match against Malsch.         

"Detective Sgt. Joseph Soto and Detective Sgt. Michael Musto have actively pursued this case because of the significant evidence at hand," Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox wrote in a release.

Besides the DNA obtained, there was a crow bar left behind that was used to pry open a window, and the observations of the motorcycle and limited description of the driver, according to Fox.  

When Malsch became a suspect, the detectives worked with other agencies as he has an extensive criminal history including burglaries, Wyckoff Police said.

After receiving additional evidence, detectives obtained a warrant for Malsch’s arrest on September 11, 2012, cops said.

Wyckoff Judge Russel B. Teschon issued the warrant for burglary and theft and set bail at $60,000.

"Both Sgt. Soto and Sgt. Musto have spent time in Paterson attempting to locate Malsch after the warrant was issued and had been unsuccessful in finding him," according to Fox. "They worked with the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department warrant squad who located Malsch early this morning, arrested him and transported him to the Wyckoff Police Department. He was processed and committed to the Bergen County jail in default of bail."

Fox praised the work of his detectives in solving this burglary that happened more than a year ago.

"Burglaries can be difficult to solve," Fox said in a release. "All too often there simply is not much evidence to work from. In this case, Det. Soto and Det. Musto took the evidence that they had, and through a lot of good, extensive police work, they arrested the person responsible."

Cops were unable to recover any of the stolen jewelry, Fox said.

"That is terribly sad for the owners, as burglaries are a horrible invasion of personal privacy and property. My guys don’t solve every crime. No department does," Fox said Friday. "But when they have evidence to work with, they do everything that they can to apprehend those responsible."

"That’s what they did here, and this community should be grateful that we have a department full of skilled, caring, professional police officers, Fox added. 

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Jim September 21, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Great job officers!!!
Kelly Zweig September 21, 2012 at 07:00 PM
yay! One less crook invading Wyckoff and worrying us all. Way to go Wyckoff PD
Gary Rabinowitz September 21, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Kudos Detective Soto: a super nice guy nabs yet another dirt bag. Keep up the great work. -GXR
John A. Unglert September 21, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Bravissimo both Sgt. Soto and Sgt. Musto. A great job, hard work vindicated and a huge thank you !
Ron Pepper September 21, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thank you to our great police force. Keep up the good work.

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