The pursuit of a stolen vehicle – a chase Kearny police aborted when the thieves started travelling the wrong way on Rt. 280 — came to an end in Newark, where sheriff’s officers caught the car, but, unfortunately, not the culprits.
About 3 p.m. on Jan. 31, the owner of a 2001 Dodge reported it had just been stolen by a group of young males in the vicinity of Stevenson Place and S. Midland Ave. and was heading toward Belgrove Drive.
The KPD issued a BOLO, and soon afterward the car was spotted by Sgt. Robert Maguire near Washington School.
School was just letting out, and the area was filled with children and parents, so Maguire “wisely decided not to pursue,” noted Police Chief John Dowie. But the sergeant did radio a description and direction of flight, southbound on Belgrove.
At Passaic Ave., the car was seen by Officer Jack Corbett, who tried to stop it in East Newark, “but it accelerated and continued into Harrison,” Dowie said.
Corbett pursued it across the Bridge St. bridge and south on Rt. 21 but terminated the chase when the driver entered the Spring St. exit ramp from Rt. 280, heading against the flow of traffic, police said.
The KPD alerted surrounding jurisdictions, and Essex County Sheriff›s officers picked up the pursuit on Central Ave. in Newark, where the auto finally “screeched to a halt” and the four occupants – believed to be in their late teens — scattered, police said. T
he car was returned to its owner. The hunt for the thieves goes on.
Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
From the Tailgating for Dummies file: At 2:30 a.m., Sgt. John Becker was driving south on Passaic Ave. — in a marked KPD vehicle — when a pickup truck began tailgating him, following so closely that the officer had to pull over, police said. The pickup then passed the police vehicle at a high rate of speed, but Becker stopped it near Johnston Ave. When the driver exited the truck, police said, a strong odor of alcohol was detected and an open cigarette box containing a plastic bag of suspected marijuana and a plastic pipe were seen on the driver’s side floor. The motorist, Jeffrey Rossi, 27, of Martinsville, was charged with DWI, following too closely, possession of pot and drug paraphernalia, and possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle.
Officer T.J. Hernandez was dispatched at 12:45 p.m. to John St. in East Newark on the report of a ShopRite shoplifting-turned-robbery. Security personnel from the Kearny store said a man had tried to leave with $225 in stolen merchandise and a scuffle ensued when they attempted to stop him. The suspect fled on foot, chased all the way to John St. by the security officers, also on foot, where he reportedly ran into a building on the 400 block, shouting to someone on the porch, “They got me, bro!” But they didn’t got him. He escaped. However, Dowie said the suspect has been identified, after a review of surveillance tapes and further investigation by detectives, as 45-year-old Kearny resident Kevin Cowley and a warrant has been issued for his arrest charging him with robbery.
Officer Tom Bannon, dispatched to a landlord-tenant dispute on the 200 block of Belgrove Drive at 11:30 a.m., ran a warrant check on some of the apartment’s occupants and found that one woman had two outstanding warrants from Harrison, police said. Itzamar Medina, 30, of Kearny, was booked at headquarters and turned over to Harrison police.
At 10 p.m., the Vice Squad witnessed what was believed to be a drug transaction in an area known for high drug-trafficking. They followed and stopped, near Bergen and Schuyler Aves., a motor vehicle containing the suspected customers, who turned over two plastic bags of suspected marijuana, police said. Charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia were Cyril Badechian and Michael Romero, both 18 and both from Kearny.
The KPD’s Super Bowl Week DWI enforcement initiative ended this night, but not before Officer Frank West nabbed a final suspected offender. West, on roving DWI patrol at Fish House Road and Rt. 7 in South Kearny at 11:45 p.m., witnessed a silver Hyundai speeding and changing lanes without signalling, police said. He brought it to a stop at Harrison Ave. and, after field sobriety tests, charged John Binder, 49, of Sparta, with DWI and careless driving.
At 9 p.m., near Belgrove Drive and Halstead St., vice detectives arrested Joseph Ferguson, 21, of Kearny, after confirming he was the subject of an outstanding warrant from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, police said. He was turned over to the HCSO.
More than once, police have advised motorists not to leave cars unlocked. Even riskier is to leave them unlocked and with the engine running, but that’s reportedly what a Passaic Ave. resident did, and her vehicle disappeared. The owner, while warming up the car about 6 a.m., went back into her house and returned to find the 2014 white Mercedes gone, police said.
Because she didn’t witness the theft, police had neither a description of the actor nor the direction of flight.