YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A judge this afternoon ordered that an Edgewater couple charged with breaking developer Fred Daibes’s ribs while taking $2 million in cash, gold and jewelry during a luxury high-rise home invasion remain held on $1 million each — with no 10% option.
Meanwhile, a law enforcement official told CLIFFVIEW PILOT that authorities believe they’re close to catching two two accomplices in the Nov. 26 robbery at the St. Moritz.
Lawyers for Ramona Mercado Vasquez and Adonis Sepulveda contended that the pair was set up by building employees whom they didn’t identify.
Mercado Vasquez, a 26-year-old Dominican citizen, and Sepulveda, 30, a Dominican U.S. citizen, were arrested by detectives from the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Special Investigations Unit a day after Daibes was pulled from his bed in the middle of the night and beaten during what authorities said was a nearly three-hour ordeal.
A St. Moritz employee who was also injured in the robbery attended today’s brief court appearance with Daibes.
Vasquez and Sepulveda live in the building that the well-known Bergen County developer built on what’s called Daibes Court off Gorge Road
Both have been held on $1 million each since their arrests last Wednesday on charges of robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault, along with a pair of weapons counts and other offenses that include burglary and theft.
Everything stolen was recovered from Mercado Vasquez’s apartment, while investigators continued searching for two other robbers.
Area residents “should not be alarmed[,] as we do not think it to be a random incident,” Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
The two “had been living in the building for some time” in different apartments, a law enforcement official told CLIFFVIEW PILOT this afternoon. Aware of Daibes’ wealth, they made him a target, the source alleged.
Their attorneys, Douglas C. Anton and Ron Bar-Nadav, said their clients were set up and had no knowledge of the robbery. The two were given bags with the goods and told to stash them, they said, although they didn’t say by whom.
The 223-unit St. Moritz has spectacular views of Manhattan, along with amenities that include a pool with a skyline deck, a large gym and spa, 24-hour concierge, housekeeping and corporate services that include a business center, conference room and guest suites.
CLIFFVIEW PILOT broke the news of the arrests late last Wednesday: Arrests in $2 million Edgewater home invasion robbery
CVP also was the first to report the robbery early Tuesday afternoon: Home invasion robbers get $2 million in cash, gold at Edgewater high-rise