Landlord allegedly caught on video

Tenant set up sting after $8K missing

A North Bergen resident decided to do her own investigating when she purchased a video camera to conduct surveillance in her room after $8,000 was removed from it while she was at work, North Bergen police said last week.
According to Commander of the Detective Bureau Lt. Frank Cannella, a 54-year-old woman who lived in an apartment on Bergenline Avenue in North Bergen was renting out two of the three bedrooms to other people. Each of the doors was locked and keys were given to her “tenants.”


The victim set up a camera and hit “play” every day before work.

Cannella said that victim, a 21-year-old female, noticed a couple of days after Thanksgiving that some things were missing in her room.
He said that the victim couldn’t find $8,000 that she had been squirreling away, along with around $100 worth of jewelry.
Before alerting the police, the tenant decided to purchase a video camera, conceal it behind a planter, and hit “play” every day before leaving for her job.

‘Like she was shopping’

After of over a month of no incidents being picked up on the video camera, the victim returned home on Jan. 4 to review her footage.
“[The landlord was allegedly] poking around, picking things up and putting them in her pockets,” said Cannella. “It’s like she was shopping.”
The victim brought the footage, along with a couple of other recordings, to the North Bergen Police Department on Jan. 4.
Within two hours, Nelly Herrera, 54, was in custody. Cannella said that they were able to clearly indentify Herrera as the alleged thief, and she was placed under arrest without incident.
“The victim said that although she was the only one who had a key to the apartment, apparently the landlord did,” said Cannella.

Alleged illegal apartment

Cannella said that when police were sent to Herrera’s residence to make the arrest, the North Bergen Building Department also went to investigate the apartment. Cannella said that they believe the rooms Herrera rented are illegal and that the Building Department is now investigating the issue.
“We’re not looking to put [the victim] out in the street, so hopefully she’ll be able to find alternative housing, but for the time being, she has not been told to vacate,” said Cannella.
None of the stolen goods were recovered, he said.
Herrera was charged with theft. Her bail was set at $3,000 with a 10 percent option.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at

© 2000, Newspaper Media Group