A Galloway Township man who served as curator for the Egg Harbor City Historical Society has been arrested after an investigation into at least 70 commercial burglaries in Camden County dating to 2013.

Dennis M. Niceler, 56, of the 200 block of West White Horse Pike, was arrested at his home Jan. 25, said a post on the Haddon Township Police Department’s Facebook page.

In Haddon Township, Camden County, Niceler is charged with burglary- and theft-related offenses, but other agencies are in the process of charging him as well, police Capt. Scott Bishop said.

Niceler was housed at the Camden County jail but has been released, Bishop said.

Mark Maxwell, president of the historical society, said he was shocked by the number of burglaries in which Niceler is charged.

“We were completely shocked and taken aback,” he said. “It’s going to be a loss to the people that research at the museum.”

Maxwell said Niceler was an administrator who grew the Facebook page and contributed historical knowledge to the museum.

“It’s going to be a loss to the historical community as a whole,” he added.

Hazel Mueller, a society trustee, said Niceler worked on her Egg Harbor City Council campaign in 2016 and she was “totally shocked.”

“He knows a lot of history,” she said. “He gave a lot of time, energy and donations to our historical society. I never, ever, ever would have thought.”

Similarities between overnight burglaries at Giumarello’s Restaurant on Haddon Avenue and the Taproom & Grill on West Crystal Lake Avenue in Haddon Townsihp in 2016 kicked off the investigation, police said on Facebook.

The suspect left no evidence behind, but Giumarello’s Restaurant’s surveillance showed he wore a ski mask and gloves while spending “a significant amount of time on scene,” police said.

Detective Sgt. Joseph Johnston and Detectives Mark Pagano and Timothy Hak began tracking similar burglaries in South Jersey and identified numerous open cases they thought were committed by the same suspect.

“Each and every burglary was committed utilizing the same modus operandi,” the Facebook post said.

Niceler was arrested Christmas Eve by Gloucester Township police after jumping off the roof of Laurel Hill Plaza in Camden County. Gloucester Township police Lt. Jason Gittens said one of the business owners heard Niceler on the roof and called police.

“That night, he was charged with resisting arrest, possession burglary tools and trespassing,” Gittens said. “He was released on a summons.”

“That arrest in Gloucester Township broke it open,” Bishop said, explaining the similarities between surveillance photos and videos led detectives to make the connections.

After that arrest, police from Haddon and Gloucester townships obtained search warrants for Niceler’s car and electronic devices, as well as his Galloway Township home.

Police said Niceler was methodical, including using Facebook photos, virtual tours and online maps to research his targets, even learning the location of some alarm panels and safes.

The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police Real Times Crime Center South and police from Gloucester and Berlin townships and Berlin Borough assisted with the investigation.

“With the arrest of this suspect, business owners throughout South Jersey can rest a little easier knowing he will hopefully be out of commission,” police said on Facebook.

Contact: 609-272-7241 MBilinski@pressofac.com Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

Download The Press of Atlantic City App

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments