Two people have been arrested and a third suspect is being sought in connection with a scheme to steal $1,200 from a Nutley resident looking to buy Super Bowl tickets.
Lyndhurst police Chief James O’Connor announced the arrests of Stephanie Diaz, 21, of Lyndhurst, on charges of conspiracy to commit theft and luring, and Franklin L. Nobile, 24, of East Orange, on charges of robbery, possession of a hand gun, possession of a hand gun for unlawful purpose, conspiracy, aggravated assault, luring and threat to kill.
Police said the incident happened on Saturday, Feb. 1, the day before the Super Bowl, when police were called to a location in the 300 block of Page Ave. on a report of an armed robbery.
At the scene, police said they learned that a 21-yearold Nutley man had come to Lyndhurst with the intent of purchasing two Super Bowl tickets for $1,200. Police said the tickets had been posted for sale on Facebook by a longtime female acquaintance of the victim who lived in Lyndhurst.
The victim told police that when he arrived at the residence, which is where Diaz lives, he was met by a heavyset African-American in his mid-20s with short black hair and was then approached by a second person from behind who pointed what he believed to be a hand gun to the back of his head.
Police said the two men then went through the victim’s pockets and removed $1,200 in cash, his car keys and a cellular phone. Police said the keys and phone were later recovered inside the residence where they believe the suspects left them before fleeing the scene.
The victim was unharmed, police said.
Lyndhurst Police Det. Capt. John Valente said that police were able to locate Diaz through the victim but delayed arresting her until last Thursday because they wanted to arrest Noble first. Noble was arrested on Feb. 11 after detectives worked with police contacts in Newark and review video surveillance in the Page Ave. neighborhood to track him, Valente said.
Valente said that police investigators, led by Det. Vincent Auteri and Det. Lt. Patrick Devlin, determined that the tickets offered for sale were legitimate and were acquired through an unknown means by two individuals who attended the game but were found to be unconnected to the scheme.
No weapon has been recovered and the $1,200 is unaccounted for, Valente said.
Both Diaz and Noble are being held at Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, pending prosecution. Diaz’ bail was set at $15,000 or 10% cash option; Noble’s bail is $130,000 with no 10% cash option.
– Ron Leir