News from the Nutley police blotter

July 26 

The manager of a Washington Ave. gas station called police at 12:10 a.m. to report that the driver of a red truck described as a late 1980s Dodge Ram Charger with a non-working rear right tail light, asked for gas, bought a pack of cigarettes, returned to his vehicle and then left the station without paying for $90 worth of gas. The driver was listed as a white male, balding, wearing cargo shorts and a grey T-shirt. Police said the truck was last seen northbound on Washington.

At 7:34 a.m., a Centre St. resident called police about a downed power wire. Police a tractor trailer struck the overhead wires and continued westbound on Centre. Police observed two cable/ phone wires on the ground lying across the street.

A Kingsland St. homeowner called police at 3:06 p.m. to report that after returning from vacation, they found multiple trash bags and a blue garbage can discarded curbside in front of their home. Police told the owner that the refuse would be hauled away on the next garbage pickup day.

July 27 

Police found a bent speed limit sign on the grass in front of a Nutley Ave. residence at 8:58 a.m. Having seen a tire mark on the curb and on the grass leading up to the sign, police surmised that a vehicle had struck the sign and left the area. Police alerted DPW about the sign.

Responding to a criminal mischief report from a Lincoln St. location, at 11:23 a.m., police found that someone had apparently climbed atop a small table to reach – and smash – a window on the south side of the residence. Police found multiple pry marks along the broken window frame and damage to the screen. Nothing was reported missing from the residence, police said.

July 28

Someone broke into an auto parked on Nicola Place. Police found the driver’s side door slightly ajar, the plastic cover to the steering column on the floor and the ignition switch damaged. Detectives are investigating. The incident was logged at 8:25 a.m.

A thief stole a purse left on the passenger side front seat of an unlocked 2007 Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot of a local bakery. Police said the purse contained money and personal items. The theft was reported at 11:57 a.m.

At 6:05 p.m., a Kingsland Ave. resident called police to report a suspicious incident. They said that a white male, about 6 feet, was walking around the rear yard and taking photos with an iPad. The man told the resident that he was a state inspector and that a shed in the yard was too close to the property line. Police said the resident will follow up with the township building department.

July 29 

A store employee was arrested after police said he tried to leave, a Franklin Ave. business, without paying for $175 worth of merchandise. Joseph Mercado, 22, of Nutley, was charged with shoplifting and released pending a court date. Police said Mercado had allegedly filled a shopping cart with cleaning supplies and was stopped when he tried to leave the store but couldn’t produce a receipt for the items. The incident was logged at 1:54 p.m.

July 30 

Someone threw a baked potato at the window of a Prospect Ave. residence and broke the glass, causing $50 in damage. The incident was reported at 9:59 a.m. Police said the same house has been previously hit by other food items, including burritos.

Aug. 1 

A Milton Ave. resident was targeted for a telephone scam, police said. The resident reported getting a phone call from someone claiming to be from U.S. Customs & Immigration telling them there was a problem with their immigration status and that they needed to send $96,000 to fix the problem. The resident told police they are a legal U.S. citizen. After the resident got the caller’s phone number, police called back, only to get a message that the “Magic Jack’’ customer was unavailable.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff