On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Indictment No. 10-02-0140.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Sabatino and Kennedy.
Following a jury trial, defendant Angelo Richardson was convicted of third-degree burglary, N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2; third-degree theft, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3; and fourth-degree resisting arrest by flight, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(a). At sentencing, the trial judge granted the State's motion for imposition of an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:44-3(a) and imposed a sentence of ten years imprisonment, with a five year period of parole ineligibility, on the burglary charge, merged the theft charge, and imposed a sentence of eighteen months imprisonment on the resisting arrest charge, to run consecutively to the sentence on the burglary charge. Defendant appeals from the judgment of conviction and the sentence.
We discern the following facts from the trial record.
On November 4, 2009, at approximately 1:25 p.m., Hillside police officers were dispatched to a residence on Williamson Avenue because a burglar alarm at the residence had been activated. Hillside Police Lieutenant Michael Katsoudas responded to the dispatch and arrived at the residence in less than a minute. He was in full uniform at the time. He observed a male carrying a plastic bag walking away from the residence toward the backyard.
At this point, Hillside Police Detective Michael Ricci arrived and Katsoudas indicated to him that someone was in the backyard. Katsoudas and Ricci entered the backyard from opposite sides of the residence and saw the male going through the contents of the bag. The officers identified themselves as police and the male immediately fled through the backyard toward another street behind the residence. The male, later identified as defendant, fled with the bag and jewelry fell from the bag as he ran.
Hillside Police Officer Francisco Vega had also responded to the dispatch and positioned his police vehicle on the street behind the residence. He saw defendant running in "full sprint" toward the street with a bag and blocked his passage. Katsoudas then tackled defendant and placed him under arrest. The officers recovered the bag and thereafter collected the trail of jewelry that had fallen from the bag as defendant fled.
Upon returning to the residence where the alarm had been activated, police saw that a window in the back door was broken and that the interior of the house had been "rummaged." The resident of the house thereafter returned and entered the house with police. She indicated that the back door window had not been broken when she left for work that morning and that the house had been locked. She observed overturned furniture inside the house and her bedroom had been "rummaged through." She told police she had not given anyone permission to be in the house that day.
The victim identified jewelry and other items recovered by police from the bag and yards as belonging to her and her husband and estimated the value of the items to be in excess of $500. Later that day, she discovered a glove in her bedroom and called the police. They retrieved the glove, which matched a single glove defendant had when he was arrested.
At trial, the resident was shown other items found with defendant at the time of his arrest - i.e., a lottery ticket, keys, dice, a digital watch, a cell phone, and a pair of sunglasses - and she stated that those items did not belong to her or her husband. Also, the officers stated at trial that they had never seen defendant actually in ...