ROCHELLE PARK, N.J. – A New Jersey burglar attempting a clean getaway got a one-way trip to jail instead after he mistook an unmarked police vehicle for his Lyft ride, authorities said Friday.
“He walked up to the side window and asked Officer Rubio, ‘Are you my Lyft driver?’ And then at that point, the suspect realized Officer Rubio was in fact a police officer and then tried to walk away,’’ but was nabbed, said Maywood Police Detective William Phayre to The New York Post.
The caper began when the suspect, Nicholas Maziot, 28, tried to sneak into the rear door of a home in Rochelle Park around 10 p.m. Thursday, according to police.
However, the bungling burglar made so much noise that he woke up the couple who live there. When the couple awoke to investigate the noises, they found Maziot already on the second floor, said Detective James DePreta.
The startled thief then bolted through a window, jumping from the roof to the ground, police said.
“He got up to the second-story landing,” said a 50-year-old man who lives in the home and desired to remain nameless. “We caught him just getting into the house. I confronted him outside. I chased him through the yard. Then he jumped the fence and ran down the street.”
Responding officers soon arrived to search for the suspect.
Maziot was hiding nearby in the dark — and frantically trying to summon a getaway car through the ride-share app Lyft, police said.
After placing his order for a car, the suspect emerged from a backyard at Oldis Street and Rochelle Avenue, where police were already setting up a perimeter, according to the Post. As a result, the crook approached an unmarked vehicle, thinking it was his Lyft, police said.
Maywood Police Officer Brian Rubio was inside.
“He didn’t get in,” Detective Phayre said of Maziot.
But the suspect soon realized his mistake and tried to take off. Rubio and other officers quickly took him into custody without any trouble, police said.
The homeowner was unaware that Maziot tried to hail a Lyft, according to the Post.
“Wow,” he said, staring at a reporter in disbelief. “Nice.”
Maziot confessed to his crime. He admitted climbing onto the roof of the house, thinking no one was home at the time, DePreta said.
He also admitted that cops arrived at the same time as his Lyft driver, halting his getaway, they said.
Consequently, the man was charged with burglary, criminal attempt of theft, possession of burglary tools, criminal mischief, defiant trespass and hindering apprehension, authorities said.
He was booked at the Bergen County Jail, awaiting a court appearance.
Neighbors enjoyed hearing the tale.
“I just moved here from Queens, and, man, I didn’t think this stuff happens in this neighborhood,” said a resident who declined to give his name. “Good for them! That’s one for the cops.”
Maziot was previously arrested in April 2018 for reportedly stealing $75,000 worth of valuables from an under-construction home in Tenafly, NJ, The Daily Voice reported.
Cops also discovered a crack pipe and evidence of drug use when arresting Maziot, according to the report.
In December 2017, he was nabbed on marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia charges in Sparta.