Nutley Police Blotter: burglary wave

Police responded to several township burglaries this week and have implemented a series of operations adding to an already heightened police presence. Police Commissioner Alphonse Petracco would not elaborate on what measures are being taken.

November 5
9:00 a.m. — A Terrace Ave. resident reported his 2004 Black Infinity stolen from his driveway. The owner parked the vehicle at 10:00 p.m. the night before and awoke to find it missing. Police are investigating.
3:06 p.m. — Police responded to Yantacaw Park in response to a dispute between an umpire and a parent at a sporting event. When the police arrived, the incident had de-escalated.
8:42 p.m. — A Hope St. resident reported that the landlord had entered resident’s apartment on three separate occasions without making proper notification in advance. Police advised the tenant on how to proceed if needed.

November 6
1:25 a.m. — Police responded to a Harrison St. home in response to a father and son altercation. Police were able to restore the peace.
1:01 p.m. — Police took a report from a Park Dr. resident who reported a side view mirror had been stolen off the resident’s 2002 Kia Wagon. It appears the glass was carefully taken and the wires cleanly cut. Police are investigating.
2:57 p.m. — Police responded to a local gas station when an irate customer reported that the station was advertising one price, and the pump was charging more. The attendant claimed it was an oversight.
6:42 p.m. — Police and Fire responded to an Adams St. Apartment complex in response to a strong odor in the hall that activated the building’s alarm system. A short investigation found a resident barbequing on a small grill inside with a charcoal grill intended for outdoor use only. Nutley Code Enforcement was advised.

November 7
7:49 a.m. — the Washington Ave. VFW was burglarized over the evening hours. The perpetrator gained entry through a rear door, entered, and burglarized the establishment. Police Detectives were called to the scene and are actively investigating the crime.
9:00 a.m. — Police took a noise complaint report from a River Rd. resident, after a downstairs tenant allegedly banged on the ceiling in an effort to quiet the upstairs tenant. Both parties were advised of their rights to sign complaint.
11:26 a.m. — 31-year-old Michael Ritacco of Belleville was stopped for an invalid inspection sticker. The Police Officer determined that Ritacco was also wanted for an outstanding warrant out of Montclair. The vehicle was impounded and Ritacco arrested. He was issued summonses in Nutley and later turned over to Montclair Police.
2:01 p.m. — A Police Officer monitoring speed along Rt. 21 stopped a speeding motorist and found 19-year-old Daniel Defilippo of Belleville to be driving with a suspended license. An active warrant out of Kenilworth was also discovered. He was arrested, issued summonses and released after posting $500 bail.
6:18 p.m. — Police responded to Duncan Pl. to take a report from a woman who had invited a couple she met at a local bar back to her home. She later discovered that she was missing items from her purse, but couldn’t remember details about the couple. Police are investigating.
7:57 p.m. — A Manhattan Ct. resident reported that several juveniles placed a couch on his front lawn with cushions scattered about.
8:57 p.m. — Police responding to a suspicious vehicle call behind the Nutley Tennis Club. There, they discovered 18-year-old Peter Lemma of Nutley in the vehicle with alcohol. One of three juveniles on scene was charged with possession of marijuana. Lemma was charged with possession of alcohol under the legal age, issued a summons and released. The juveniles were turned over to their parents.

November 8
Police responded to a Franklin Ave. business in response to a “Smash and Grab” burglary; one of several that have been committed over the past few weeks. The front door of the establishment was shattered, and an undisclosed amount of proceeds taken. Police are investigating.
Related: Police urge business owners to remove or properly secure valuables when business is unattended. Also, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco urges business owners to make certain their surveillance and anti-theft devices are in good working order. He recommends that video surveillance systems be installed for deterring thieves as well as apprehending them. He added it provides law enforcement with a useful tool as well as key evidence if available.
9:17 a.m. — A Whitford Ave. resident reported that someone had thrown toilet paper all over her home.  They reported that a lawn light was broken in the process.
11:02 a.m. — Police took a report of theft from a Washington Ave. man who advised police that a check was missing from his check book and that he suspected a visitor of the crime. Charges are pending.
2:59 p.m.– A White Ave. resident called 911 when a meat solicitor came to his door. The resident then yelled at the solicitor and chased him from his home, allegedly with a baseball bat. Police were able to speak with the solicitor. He produced proper permits and was checked-out with negative results.

November 9
12:02 a.m. — Police responded to a Chestnut St. location in response to a parked vehicle with four flat tires. Police are investigating.
1:52 a.m. — Police stopped a motor vehicle for a violation and it was discovered that the driver, Anthony Vicaro, age 50, of Florida, carried an outstanding warrant out of Newark.  Mr. Vicaro was placed under arrest and transported to headquarters. Newark Police later released him on his own recognizance.
6:47 a.m. — A motor vehicle stop resulted in the arrest of Michael Crowley, age 21, of Newark, for an outstanding warrant out of Irvington.  He was transported to headquarters without incident where he satisfied the warrant.  He was released with two motor vehicle summonses.
3:30 p.m. — A homeowner living near Friedland Rd. reported that three antique chairs were taken from the residence shortly after they were cleaned.  Police are investigating.

November 10
12:37 p.m. — Police were called to a dispute in the vicinity of New St.  Upon arrival it was revealed that a landscaping vehicle had parked blocking the driveway of the homeowner.  The truck was moved. All parties involved were advised to have no future contact with each other.
3:12 p.m.– Police were called to Yantacaw County Park on a report of criminal mischief.  Upon arrival, the officer discovered over 15 plastic fence caps lying on the ground.  The caps were reinstalled without incident.
A Franklin Ave. delicatessen’s front door was shattered allowing the perpetrator to gain entry. A number of undisclosed items were stolen. Police also believe that this perpetrator may be responsible for the Passaic Ave. burglary of a Chinese Restaurant, and possibly a Verizon retailer on Franklin Ave.

November 11
12:18 a.m. — Police responded to a Centre St. establishment after two parties left without paying. Police were able to stop the couple. They claimed that they didn’t eat the food and didn’t have enough to cover the tab. Both were advised not to return. Management reserves the right to sign a complaint.
Police responded to a Bloomfield Ave. gas station where a determined thief dislodged a floor safe from its concrete base and carried it off. Police believe this may be the same person responsible for two other gas station burglaries that recently occurred on Centre St.
Police Director Alphonse Petracco, and Chief John Holland urge Township residents to be aware and report any suspicious incidents or actors to Police immediately. Anyone with information about any of the recent burglaries are asked to contact the Nutley Police Department at 973-284-4940.

The Observer Staff