Correction: An earlier version misidentified which pharmacy filled the prescription on April 25.
Had 21-year-old Armend Salijaj of Manhattan 'liked' the , he'd likely be at cozier digs than the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack.
Salijaj was arrested in connection to an attempted prescription fraud bid that ended in a dramatic foot chase on Tuesday night, and police believe the capture could lead to numerous police departments solving similar outstanding cases.
The arrest, police tout, is a result of effective use of social media, alert police and cognizant citizens.
According to Det. James Calaski, the pharmacist at noticed a familiar man attempting to fill a prescription just past 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The individual, whom police identified as Salijaj, fit the description of a suspect , and unsuccessfully attempted to score oxycodone from the Rock Ridge Pharmacy the same day.
Recognizing the name of the doctor on the prescription and pictures of the suspect posted on the Glen Rock Police Facebook page, the alert Rock Ridge pharmacist called police. Calaski said Ptl. Murray Yang confronted the suspect in the store and after a brief questioning, the suspect bolted through an alley but eventually was captured by Yang and Ptl. Scott McGovern near the train tracks.
According to Calaski, Salijaj along with two males and a female were responsible for similar prescription frauds in Fair Lawn, Hawthorne, Spring Valley (NY) and Brooklyn. While Salijaj admitted to being responsible for the Glen Rock fraud attempts, he refused to disclose the identities of his accomplices, the detective told Patch.
Police, who had loaded clearer pictures of the alleged crew on Facebook hours before the attempt on Tuesday night, say the ring could be responsible for twelve known prescription fraud cases and dozens more.
Calaski said the investigation revealed Salijaj, who emigrated from Kosovo, also had about 20 stolen drivers licenses and could be involved in further cases of theft. Salijaj told detectives the Tuesday arrest actually fell on his birthday (official documents show he was born on June 15, but detectives said Salijaj claimed his father wrote down the wrong date on immigration papers).
"It's a sign of the times," Calaski said of the rising number of drug fraud cases. "You look at the type of fraud we're dealing with...we're just seeing a lot more of it."
The prescription police say Salijaj used was traced to a New York doctor, whom police say is not believed to be complicit in the fraud ring.
Salijaj is being held on $150,000 bail and is charged with two counts each of attempt to obtain CDS by fraud, receiving stolen property, forgery by uttering, and identity theft/impersonation of another. He was also charged with resisting arrest by flight.
Police are confident the remaining three suspects (see photos posted to the right) will be brought to justice, and soon.
"It's just a matter of time before we find them or someone recognizes them," Calaski said.
Anyone with further information of the ongoing investigation is urged to call the Glen Rock Detective's Bureau at (201) 670-3948.