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1 arrested, 1 still wanted for ‘distraction thefts’ at Sussex County ShopRite

BYRAM TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – A man was arrested and another suspect is still wanted for alleged distraction thefts at the Byram Township ShopRite, according to police.

Police took two separate reports of wallets being stolen out of purses at ShopRite on Feb. 9 and March 1. In both instances, the victims had their purses in the basket portion of the shopping cart, police said.

A further investigation revealed that the same two individuals were performing these diversion thefts where one person talks to the victim and distracts them while the other steals the wallet out of the victim’s purse, police said.

In both instances, the suspects then went to various stores in other jurisdictions and used the victims’ credit cards to purchase gift cards and other items, police said.

On March 28, police were notified that the vehicle wanted in connection with these thefts was located in Fairfield Township and Juan Alberto Canales-Pinto was then arrested, police said.

Canales-Pinto was charged with two counts of theft, two counts of credit card theft, two counts of conspiracy, hindering apprehension and displaying false government documents. Additional charges are pending, police said.

Canales-Pinto has an active extraditable warrant out of California along with a warrant of removal and deportation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, police said.

Canales-Pinto is lodged in the Morris County Correctional Facility pending a court appearance, police said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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