News from the Nutley police blotter

June 14 

A mishap, at 5:18 a.m., involving a tow truck ended up damaging a vehicle being towed, police said. The tow truck driver told police that the cable/chain securing the vehicle to the deck broke loose, causing the vehicle in tow to roll forward when he applied the brakes, in the process, striking the crash barrier between the cab and flatbed, denting the front end of the vehicle, a Mustang.

At 7:55 a.m., a Weston St. homeowner called police after finding a small glass vial, with a plastic pink cap, containing several crystalized white rocks (a suspected narcotic), on a retaining wall near their home. The vial was confiscated by police.

After being alerted to an individual wearing what appeared to be hospital wristbands and EKG pads walking north on Washington Ave., at 9:58 a.m., police located the person in a store parking lot. The man told them he’d just been released from a hospital and had nowhere to go. Later, police said, after learning that the man, identified as Hassan Kemp, 52, of Paterson, was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Paterson, arrested him and then turned him over to Paterson PD.

At 6:47 p.m., a Franklin Ave. business owner called police to report that somebody has been stealing bread from in front of their store during the early morning hours. Police are reviewing surveillance footage for possible clues.

June 16 

A badly maintained vehicle tripped up the driver when police made a traffic stop at Nutley Ave. and River Road, at 1:09 a.m., and arrested Johnny Loor, 29, of Clifton, after confirming that Loor had outstanding warrants from Passaic and Clifton. He was also issued summonses charging him with driving while suspended and noisy muffler before being released to Clifton PD.

A Columbia Ave. resident called police at 5:39 a.m. to report that someone had stolen their black Jeep Grand Cherokee from their driveway.

At 11:31 a.m., police responded to a store at Harrison St. and Franklin Ave. where the manager reported having seen a male with a large build remove a can of Arizona ice tea from the cooler and then heard the sound of a can being opened. The manager then spotted the can, still cold and partly empty, sitting on a shelf. He then saw the male entering a white Honda. On June 14, the manager said, he saw the same person chewing something in the store and, after the person left, he found a candy bar wrapper in the aisle. Police advised the manager he could file a court complaint against the person.

The would-be victim of an apparent scammer reported receiving phone calls from someone claiming to be from the Nutley Police Department asking for money for the victim’s grandson to be released from jail. After the victim refused, police said a second caller tried to get the victim to send money by claiming they were a Nutley police captain. But the victim refused and the calls ended, police said. Detectives are investigating.

June 17 

At 11:15 p.m., police responded to a report of criminal mischief to an auto parked on King St. Police said they observed multiple cigarette burns to the vehicle’s cover as well as burns in the vehicle’s paint, plus multiple scratches and a depression in the hood.

June 18 

A theft at a local coffee shop was reported to police at 1:24 a.m. The victim told police a man not known to them bumped into them as they were entering the bathroom and, a bit later, the victim discovered their wallet was missing. The wallet contained between $450 and $500 and several credit cards which the victim has canceled.

At 2:48 p.m., police responded to the aftermath of a report of a dispute at a Washington Ave. gas station. Police said a customer, apparently upset over the attendant too hastily taking his $20 payment for gas from his hand, got out of his car, yelled at the attendant, spit in his face and punched him in the face and then drove away. Police said the driver was described as African- American, between 30 and 35. Nutley EMTs treated the victim. Police said they determined the assailant’s identity and advised the victim of his right to sign a complaint.

A construction team working on Centre St. dropped debris on air-conditioning condensing units of a neighboring property while working on a demolition project, police said. Police said the construction company’s owner agreed to pay for the damage. The incident was logged at 3:35 p.m.

At 4:23 p.m., police received a report that someone stole a mailbox and damaged some metal garbage cans at a King St. location.

At 10:10 p.m., William Woodkotch, 21, of Nutley, was stopped by police as he was leaving a Franklin Ave. pizzeria and accused of stealing a phone and credit card reader from the business. Woodkotch was arrested on charges of theft. Detectives recovered the phone and reader and released the man after he was given a court date.

June 19 

At 12:22 p.m., police responded to the Raceway gas station on Washington Ave. after receiving complaints about a man panhandling there. Police said they located a man matching the description given by callers who told them he didn’t have a job and needed money for the bus. Police said they advised the man not to continue begging for money or he’d be arrested.

June 20 

At 7:55 a.m., a Whitford Ave. resident called police after hearing a loud bang at their door and, looking out their window, said they saw a white 2-door vehicle drive away from the front of their home. After opening their front door, they noticed that a trash can had been thrown at the door.

At 8:55 a.m., a Rutgers Ave. resident reported someone stole their garbage can sometime during the night. The trash receptacle was valued at $20.

A resident reported a phone scam to police. The caller advised the resident to contact a “Robinson Cooper” to receive a government check for $6,700 for “always paying their bills on time.” After providing “Mr. Cooper” with their name and last four digits of their Social Security number, the caller was told they’d first have to send $200 to receive the check. At that point, the caller hung up and called police, who contacted “Mr. Cooper,” who denied it was a scam and then hung up.

– Ron Leir

The Observer Staff