By Karen Zautyk
A 37-year-old Kearny man was arrested last week on burglary charges after police tracked him thanks to surveillance tapes and his use of credit cards stolen from a Forest St. home, authorities reported. The man is also a suspect in an attempted break-in on Ivy St., police said.
At 7:30 a.m., Friday, May 13, Kearny Police Officer T.J. Hernandez responded to the Forest St. address, where the resident reported that the home had been burglarized either late on May 12 or sometime overnight.
Cash, jewelry, credit cards and electronics, including an iPod and a laptop computer, were among the items reported stolen – property worth an estimated $16,000.
Police Chief John Dowie said that while Hernandez was at the home, taking the report and offering the victim advice on how to combat identity theft, the victim began canceling the stolen cards. It was learned that one of them had been used to make an unauthorized $64 purchase at a local gas station. An attempted charge also had been made at Walmart, police said.
Det. Jim Torrado was assigned to the case and through a canvass and utilizing surveillance tapes obtained a description of the vehicle, an SUV. Police located the owner, a Kearny resident, who told them it had been taken without authorization, Dowie said.
On May 17, police began surveillance of the area near Midland Ave. from which the SUV had been taken.
At 11 a.m. that day, Det. John Plaugic received a report of an attempted break-in on Ivy St. Police said the burglar was in the process of forcing open a door when he was frightened off by the homeowner, who saw the suspect flee in a vehicle similar in description to the SUV the cops were hunting.
Lt. Anthony Gouveia and Det. Michael Gonzalez joined the surveillance, and at 2 p.m., the SUV was stopped when it returned to Midland.
The driver was arrested for the Forest St. burglary, Dowie said, and in a subsequent search of the suspect’s home proceeds of that crime reportedly were recovered.
Dowie said the police are also “actively looking” for a second individual, believed to be a Newark resident, who is suspected of assisting in the Ivy St. incident.
The Kearny man has been charged with burglary, theft and use of a stolen credit card.
He was being held in Hudson County Jail in lieu of $45,000 bail.