A former employee of a warehouse in South Brunswick, New Jersey is facing two counts of burglary charges for repeatedly squeezing through the building’s rooftop exhaust fan.
Momodu Rogers, a 38-year-old resident of Irvington, Washington, allegedly entered the warehouse on multiple occasions, in November 2013 and again on September 25 of this year. According to reports, once inside the warehouse, Rogers would then push copper bars — worth thousands per bar — out through a small window of the building.
Due to his method of entry, there were no signs that a burglar had forced their way into the building, and the alarm was never triggered. Rogers’s unconventional method of squeezing down the exhaust fan and then exiting through the roof helped to keep his break-ins relatively secret.
Considering that some fans, such as the laminar fan, move quickly — keeping air circulating as much as 300 times per hour — Rogers’s move was risky indeed. To get on the roof in the first place, he would have to climb up a potentially treacherous 30 feet on a dust collector in order to jump to a warehouse roof.
For a while, the sneaky burglary tactics paid off — that is, of course, until the police began tailing him.
After last month’s burglary, Detectives Mike Pellino and Dennis Yuhasz analyzed surveillance tapes from neighborhood businesses, where they discovered a sport utility vehicle parked near the warehouse at night.
Soon after, the detectives learned that a friend of Rogers owned a sport utility vehicle. They were soon able to link Rogers to the burglaries.
While Rogers’s unconventional burglary tactics were successful for a while, the determination of the detectives trumped his sneaky efforts.
“Mr. Rogers could avoid setting off the alarm, but not avoid our police department following all the leads. This is an example of the great police work our department does every day,” Chief of Police Raymond Hayducka said.