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Burglar caught hiding in ductwork after cops hear him coughing, police say

It never happens like in the movies

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By Anthony G. Attrino

GARFIELD, N.J. — A Bergen County man was charged with burglary Wednesday after police officers heard coughing and found him hiding inside the ductwork of a Garfield building, authorities said.

Police were called about 4:20 a.m. to Van Winkle Avenue after a resident reported someone was breaking into a vehicle. A description of the suspect was given and several patrol officers who responded spotted the suspect, who then fled, police said.

He tried to escape by “jumping numerous fences between the yards,” Garfield Police Capt. Richard Uram said in a statement.

Garfield police, assisted by Passaic police and a county K-9 named “Cash,” chased the man to an abandoned building in the area of River Drive and Faber Place, according to Uram.

Once inside with the K-9, several of the “officers heard someone coughing from inside the ductwork,” Uram said.

“The Garfield Fire Department responded and were able to cut an opening to the ductwork, where officers located the suspect inside and placed him in custody,” Uram said.

The 18-year-old Garfield man was charged with third-degree burglary, resisting by flight, receiving stolen property and other charges. Police said they found several items on the suspect that they believe were stolen from others.

“This investigation is ongoing at this time, but additional charges are expected,” Uram said.

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