Snoring Burglar Tips Off Cops to Hiding Spot

Suspect eluded cops at first, but then he fell asleep.

Monday, Aug 15, 2011  |  Updated 1:37 PM EDT
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Christian Cortes, left, Israel Cortes (the snoring suspect), middle, Richard Wilson, right

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An apparently sleep-deprived burglar tipped off cops to his hiding spot at a New Jersey restaurant after he fell asleep and began to snore.

Police in South Brunswick, N.J., came upon the commercial robbery late Sunday night as they investigated a suspicious vehicle parked behind the former Big Ed's Restaurant on Route 130.

Officers discovered an open door that led to the basement of the business, and when they began to search, three suspects took off running, police said.

An officer standing guard outside the establishment captured one of the fleeing suspects, identified as Christian Cortes of Pemberton, and police apprehended a second suspect, identified as Richard Wilson, 39, of Ewing, near the Travelers Inn Motel about an hour later. The third suspect remained at large.

About two hours after the suspects fled, the officers returned to the site of the attempted robbery and began canvassing the building.

While conducting the search, police heard a noise coming from atop a large refrigeration unit in the basement. There, police found the third suspect, Israel Cortes, asleep. He apparently began to snooze while hiding. Cortes was also taken into custody.

All three suspects were charged with burglary, theft and possession of burglary tools. The Cortes brothers were released after posting $10,000 bail. Wilson was released on his own recognizance pending his first court appearance. The names of their attorneys weren't immediately available.

Police believe the men targeted the business to steal copper pipes to sell.

The suspects had already cut out numerous pipes and were getting ready to load them into the vehicles, police said. Officers recovered two Sawzall saws, gloves, and headlight lamps. The suspects had done thousands of dollars worth of damage to the business, police said. All three of their vehicles were seized.

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