This is a public service announcement from Police Chief John Dowie to the residents of Kearny: Lock your cars!
One would think that advice should not be necessary, but one of the KPD blotter reports from last week indicates that some people need reminding.
On Aug. 3, at 1:15 a.m., Officer Steve Hroncich was dispatched to the 700 block of Elm St. on the report of a disturbance on the street. He arrived to see a group of youths running away from a parked car, a car the officer found had been entered.
Hroncich spoke to neighbors who had heard the commotion, located video surveillance cameras in the area and got a description of the kids. He also found that other vehicles had been entered and their contents strewn along the street.
Hroncich broadcast an alert, and at 2:20 a.m. Officer Leroy Bibbs located the group at Kearny and Garfield Aves.
As Bibbs approached, one of the girls in the pack was seen discarding a handbag, police said. Questioned, the kids reportedly started admitting they had been part of what cops called a “burglary spree group.” Police said the youths — five in all — had started out on Chestnut St. and made their way over to Elm, looking for unlocked vehicles and finding at least five.
From these they allegedly stole the handbag (labelled Louis Vuitton), a pair of running shoes, a Miller Beer hat, loose change, sets of keys, CD cases and CDs and miscellaneous vehicle paperwork (found littering path of flight). Police said the kids had also gone through the CDs and discarded the ones they didn’t like. Details on their musical preferences were not available.
Charged with various counts of burglary to a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit such burglary and theft from a vehicle were two boys from Belleville, aged 15 and 17, and three girls, a 15-year-old from Newark and two from Kearny, one 16 and one 13. Those under 16 were also charged with violation of the town curfew.
The teens were processed at headquarters and released to their parents or other responsible adults.
Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
At 12:20 a.m., the Walmart parking lot was the scene of a dispute between two pedestrians and the occupants of a SUV Range Rover that had stopped to let them cross in front of it. Apparently, the pedestrians did not move fast enough, those in the SUV lost patience, words were exchanged, the driver threw a soda on one of the walkers, the pedestrian kicked the SUV, the driver confronted the kicker, the passenger made reference to having a gun but then told the driver, “This ain’t worth it man,” whereupon the SUV left Walmart and drove to the Wawa, pursued by the sodasplashed pedestrian.
The pedestrian had second thoughts when he saw a black handgun pointed at him, police said. He left the Wawa and called the cops.
The responding officer, Ben Wuelfing, viewed the security videos from both Walmart and Wawa, obtained descriptions of the vehicle and its occupants and turned the info over to the detective bureau, which is following up.
Officer Cesar Negron was on patrol near 250 Kearny Ave. at 2:45 p.m. when he saw two individuals involved in a dispute. He separated them, ran a warrant check and found that one, 24-year-old Ider Vivasperez of Hillside was wanted by Clifton, police said. Vivasperez was arrested and taken to HQ for processing.
Just before midnight, Officer Glenn Reed was dispatched to an accident at 1800 Harrison Ave., where a Honda motorcycle had rear-ended a Mack truck. On the scene were Officers Thomas Floyd and Chris Medina and the Kearny EMS, which was attending to the injured biker and transported him to St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark.
Reed also travelled to the hospital to interview the man, who reportedly admitted to having been drinking. Blood was drawn for analysis, and Valdemar Salandrea, 43, of Jersey City was charged with DWI, careless driving and operating an uninsured vehicle. The cycle was impounded.
On this day, when everyone else was dumping Russian vodka in the streets to protest that country’s anti-gay policies, a 32-yearold Kearny man walked into a liquor store at Kearny and Seeley Aves. at 4:10 p.m. and allegedly walked out with a stolen bottle of Smirnoff.
Officer Sean Kelly responded to the report of the theft and broadcast a description of the suspect and direction of flight. A short time later, Det. Ray Lopez spotted Gheorghe Vasile, 32, of Kearny at Beech St. and Stewart Ave., reportedly with a bottle of Smirnoff protruding from his backpack.
The theft victim was brought to the scene and ID’d the suspect, police said. Vasile was charged with shoplifting and violation of the town ordinance on open containers of alcohol. Police said he was also wanted on warrants, from Hanover, Sparta, Dover and Newark. Processed at HQ , he was transported to the Hudson County Jail by the Sheriff ’s Office.
At 1:20 a.m., Officer Dean Gasser and Sgt. Charles Smith came upon a man and a woman having a heated argument on Belgrove Drive at Rose St. As the officers approached, the man took off, running through the nearby apartments and scaling two fences. The cops pursued but eventually lost him.
However, the guy obligingly circled back. He was apprehended at Johnson Ave. and John St. by Officer Derek Hemphill and was found to be wanted on a contempt warrant, police said.
In a search incidental to arrest, 39-year-old Kearny resident Anthony Joana was allegedly found to be in possession of a partially smoked marijuana cigar. He was charged on the warrant and with possession of pot and drug paraphernalia. Joana told police he was not feeling well, and Kearny EMS took him to Clara Maass Medical Center.
Officer Joseph Vulcano responded to a two-car accident on Rt. 7 at 11:30 a.m. and reportedly found that one of the motorists, Joseph Minickene, 19, of Jersey City was driving with a suspended license and was wanted on a warrant out of Linden. Minickene was charged on those counts and also with careless driving and failure to surrender a revoked license.
At 11 p.m., the Vice Squad was on Beech St. when they came upon a vehicle from which wafted the strong odor of burnt marijuana, police said. Following the car and stopping it on Schuyler Ave., they reportedly saw the front-seat passenger holding a cigar. Said passenger exited the car, started to walk away, was told to stop and began to run, police said.
He was, however, caught and allegedly found to be in possession of two partially smoked marijuana cigars and a plastic bag containing more of the weed. Charged with possession and use of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest was Steven McGirr, 22, of Kearny.
At 7 p.m., Det. Ray Lopez came upon two women yelling and apparently chasing a third on Forest St. near Pierce Place. As he approached, one entered a car and reportedly raced away at a high rate of speed. He followed, but she returned to the scene of the altercation — and now she had a knife in her hand, police said.
Lopez disarmed and arrested her. Piscataway resident Jamye Dunham, 22, was charged with possession of a weapon, possession for unlawful purposes and driving with a suspended license.
Based on information developed about a Chestnut St. location, the Vice Squad arranged to make an undercover drug buy there. At 10:30 p.m., the suspected dealer, in possession of several packets of pot, arrived — and then took off running, discarding the marijuana along the way, police said. He was overtaken and arrested. Anthony Baez, 19, of Kearny was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia, possession with intent to distribute, and possession with intent near school property and a public park.
At 7:20 a.m., Officer Dave Rakowski was at Passaic Ave. and Riverview Court when he spotted 27-yearold Daniel Foster of Verona, who he knew to be wanted on a Kearny warrant for the alleged unlawful taking of a vehicle, police said, he was booked at HQ on that and two other reported warrants, from Riverdale and the N.J. Transit Police. – Karen Zautyk