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Pascack Valley Daily Voice serves Emerson, Hillsdale, Montvale, Park Ridge, River Vale, Washington Township, Westwood & Woodcliff Lake

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DV Pilot police & fire

Hillsdale cops nab pickpocket before victim knows wallet is gone

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A Hillsdale woman was still shopping at a borough supermarket when police arrested an alleged pickpocket who’d snatched five of the victim’s credit cards and was trying to use them at another store across town — to buy more than $200 worth of cigarettes, among other items.


Carlotta Alston

Staff at King’s Supermarket called police after the accused thief tried buying the smokes with a revoked credit card Sunday afternoon.  Officers William Diedtrich and Police Officer Jeff Angermeyer spotted the woman in the store parking lot and brought her to headquarters.

Police Chief Chip Stalter said 51-year-old Carlotta J. Alston of East Orange was carrying five of the victim’s cards, which she apparently lifted from the woman‘s purse at the Hillsdale Shop-Rite about a half-hour earlier.

“All the while, the victim was still shopping and unaware of the theft,” Stalter said.

Alston was just as clueless, the chief said: “The credit card company’s automatic fraud detection systems had already revoked the credit cards because of the unusual spike in usage in such a brief period of time.”

The officers then caught up to the victim and returned her cards, he said.

Alston was being held on $20,000 bail in the Bergen County Jail, charged with a variety of theft and fraud counts.

Meanwhile, Stalter warned residents that the indicent was “a valuable reminder that crimes of opportunity can occur anywhere and at anytime.”

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