On December 30, at 3:20 p.m. a man was walking near the QuickChek on Washington Ave. when a Hispanic male approached him. The stranger told the man that they had met before and asked if he remembered him by the name of “Smooth.” As they walked together behind 509 Washington St. the man noticed that three more individuals were approaching him and Smooth. Just when he realized that he had been set up by Smooth, one of the three men grabbed him from behind. The man managed to break free and to throw some punches at Smooth. Suddenly, one of the assailants produced a black snub-nosed revolver and shouted, “Put your hands up!” As he did, the other hooligans began to beat the man. The thieves made off with the man’s wallet, which contained $187. The men are still at large. Police described the men as follows:
“Smooth” – Hispanic with a Mohawk haircut and ponytail. Last seen wearing gray North Face jeans.
Assailant # 1 – Black male in 20’s wearing red T-shirt. Wrist possibly broken.
Assailant # 2 – Black male in 30’s wearing black ski mask and black hooded jacket.
Assailant # 3 – Hispanic male in 20’s wearing gray hooded sweatshirt Other news from the Belleville Police blotter:
Two attempted motor vehicle thefts were reported at the Verizon Building, 282 Washington Ave. A Verizon employee said that she had parked her white 1999 Chevy Cavalier in the parking lot on Dec. 28. When she returned on Jan. 3 she noticed that the ignition had been popped and broken.
The owner of a white 2008 Chevy van reported that the vehicle’s side-door lock had been popped open and that items inside the vehicle had been rummaged through. It was unclear if anything was missing.
3:20 p.m. – A 14-year-old girl entered into a brouhaha with another girl of the same age after their school bus dropped them off at the corner of Newark Ave. and Clara Maass Dr. The argumentative teen accused the victim of “talking about her” that day in school, but waited until after school to take action against her. As soon as they stepped off the bus the angry teen grabbed the victim’s backpack and struck her in the head. She then ripped the earrings from her ears. When the victim attempted to retrieve the earrings from the ground, the girl kicked her in her side. After officers were dispatched to the scene, they charged the teen with simple assault.
A trailer was reported stolen at 311 Stevens St. Police received the call on Dec. 31. The robbery apparently occurred somewhere between Dec 30 and 31. The victim informed police that she had rented the trailer from Budget Car Center and that it was gone when she returned to the lot. The trailer is a 1998 Demco model. Police are investigating.
5:45 p.m. – A 2010 Infinity was reported stolen from 10 Columbus Ave. It was stolen between 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 30, and 5:45 p.m. the following day. The owner said that the last time he had seen it was when his friend used it and dropped him off at work. Police are investigating.
9:08 p.m. – Police received a report of two males looking in vehicles at the 100 block of Ralph St. When they arrived at the scene, they spoke with a witness who observed a male wearing a black hoodie sitting on his front steps. A second man dressed in a grey hoodie and described as a Hispanic male wearing glasses, was seen sitting inside a vehicle parked in front of 103 Ralph St. When the witness walked out of his home, the two suspicious males ran off. Officers spoke with the owner of a silver 1997 Civic that the men had been standing beside. He noticed no sign of forced entry, but the ignition had been tampered with.
7:42 a.m. – A man was knocked from his bicycle in the Kmart parking lot by an assailant that he later identified as a co-worker. After he fell off the bike, the man proceeded to punch him several times in the face. The victim sustained bruises and a cut on his forehead. He refused medical treatment and was advised to contact authorities with complaints.
8 a.m. – Kmart proved to be a crime hotspot once again when when police spotted two men reportedly removing pallets from behind the store. The men claimed that they thought the pallets were being tossed out as garbage. One individual checked out OK and was released; the other, Dominick J. Lyness, 32, of Belleville, wasn’t so lucky. Police discovered that Lyness had warrants out of Saddle Brook, Elmwood Park, East Orange, and an Essex County Sherriff ’s warrant totaling some $3,300.
1 p.m. – An apparent break-in was thwarted when a woman heard a knock at her apartment door at 213 Stephens St. The man then inserted a key into the lock and attempted to open the door. The woman opened the door and asked the man what he was doing there. He nervously explained that he had gone to the wrong apartment, and then bolted down the hallway. The woman then called police. The man, still at large, is described as Asian, 5’ 6” and roughly 30.