Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Neck Tattoo Leads to Arrest

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Neck Tattoo Leads to Arrest

Article excerpt

NEW MILFORD -- The man with the gun was wearing a ski mask, but the nighttime clerk at 7-Eleven could still make out a large tattoo that stretched across his neck.

Police recognized the tattoo, which was described by the clerk and visible on the surveillance video. Hours later, they arrested Vincent Ortenzio at his aunt's home less than a mile away and charged the 21-year-old with robbery.

Ortenzio was no stranger to the 7-Eleven on River Road -- he was said to hang out there with a rotating group of locals -- or to police, who know Ortenzio as a frequent offender.

Less certain is what brought Amanda Gaeta, a 21-year-old Paramus woman with no criminal record, to the convenience store with Ortenzio early Monday morning.

Gaeta's car was parked across the street, police said, as Ortenzio allegedly used a pellet gun that resembled a large-caliber handgun to rob the 24-hour convenience store of $200 in cash and a handful of cigarette lighters.

The two were arrested hours later at a South Park Drive residence, where Ortenzio had been living with his aunt, police say, down the street from his parents.

Ortenzio faces multiple charges, including first-degree robbery; Gaeta faces a conspiracy count. The pair remained in Bergen County Jail Tuesday evening.

"I think she just got caught up in a bad situation," said New Milford Police Chief Frank Papapietro. "We don't know that much about her."

Ortenzio is a different story. Known to police even as a juvenile, he has racked up a string of arrests and jail stints on charges ranging from harassment and disorderly conduct, to another robbery in 2009.

In June of last year, he was arrested after allegedly leading a group of men in harassing and threatening a man outside the same 7- Eleven, late at night. He was charged with possession of an alcoholic beverage while underage, disorderly conduct, and harassment while on probation.

"We all have kind of a repertoire with him," said Officer Kevin Van Saders, who has arrested Ortenzio before. …

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