A special posse captured a pair of highway bandits who held up several fast food restaurants and other businesses across North Jersey the past few weeks.
Both from Passaic, the accused stickup men were spotted in Passaic outside a Dunkin Donuts — one of their most frequent targets.
They were arrested after one of them went to Paterson to pay a ticket while the other waited at a nearby Wendy’s, police said. Otherwise, authorities are keeping details of how they identified and tracked the pair to themselves.
Jesus Ortega, 21, and Carlos Lopez, 22, are charged with 16 stickups, including robberies at Dunkin’ Donuts shops in Paramus and Rockaway, two Radio Shock stores in Clifton, a Burger King in South Hackensack and a cell phone store in Paterson.
The weapon? A pellet gun.
Both men are being held on more than $1 million bail each at the Passaic County Jail.
The bandits had clearly been getting bolder, so police decided to pool resources and try to hunt them down before someone got hurt.
The special task force of officers from Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties had begun mapping strategy on Monday. By yesterday afternoon, they’d hit paydirt.