Police: terroristic threat charge breaks year-long case

NORTH BERGEN AND BEYOND – North Bergen Police say they got a lucky break when an investigation into a tenant-landlord dispute turned up an alleged theft-by-deception suspect they had been seeking for the last year.
Police say Mack Ely, 33, of North Bergen allegedly robbed $15,000 from an elderly woman by pretending to complete construction on her home. Ely was apprehended yesterday in Elizabeth and charged with making terroristic threats, theft by deception and hindering his own arrest by providing a false name.
North Bergen Police Detective Bureau Lt. Christopher Brignola said Ely allegedly stopped paying rent and his landlord evicted him. According to a court order from the Hudson County Court, Ely had to produce identification that matched his lease to get his belongings back.
When he could not produce this I.D., he allegedly grew angry and left the scene.
“After he left the scene, he [allegedly] started making phone calls [threatening] the victim and his family,” said Brignola. Brignola said police took the threats seriously and ensured the safety of the victim’s children.
They learned that Ely was going to be at a self-storage facility in Elizabeth, and arrested him there.
A year ago, Mack was seen on a bank surveillance video allegedly cashing a $15,000 check.
On Oct. 15, 2009, he allegedly offered a North Bergen woman in her early 90s his services, claiming he would replace her roof and vinyl siding for $15,000. Police said that instead, he painted the roof and tiling.
“Unfortunately, the victim passed away, but we contacted the family and they wished to pursue some type of justice,” said Brignola.
His bail was set at $30,000 with no bail bond option by Judge Nino Falcone. – Tricia Tirella

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