News from the Nutley police blotter

During the past week, Nutley PD responded to six suspicious incidents, eight disputes, 14 motor vehicle accidents and 40 medical calls, in addition to the following logged incidents:

Sept. 20 

Roger Maldonado-Melgar, 20, of Newark, was charged with eluding and resisting arrest after police said he refused orders to pull over while reportedly reaching a speed of 74 mph traveling south on Rt. 21. Police said he was finally stopped in Newark. He was also ticketed for alleged violations of DUI, speeding, unlicensed, careless driving and failure to keep right on highway with marked lanes. He was released pending a court date.

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Two separate incidents of identity theft were reported. In the first, someone opened an AT&T Wireless account in the victim’s name and ordered two iPhones and service, for which the victim was billed $229. The defrauder used the victim’s driver’s license and Social Security number to open the account. Police said the suspect who made the transaction was described as a light-skinned white or Hispanic male, with close-cropped brown hair, between 5-feeteight and 5-feet-10, in his early to late 40s.

In the second incident, the victim was fraudulently billed by Credit Collection Services, Newton, Mass., for a past due amount of $3,837 owed to Verizon. The victim had no outstanding Verizon balance and was told that Verizon retains no collection agencies, police said.

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Michael Montero, 19, of Belleville, was arrested while parked in Flora Louden Park off Hancox Ave. after police said he was found to have a green leafy substance consistent with marijuana, an “Entourage” cigar which is commonly used to smoke marijuana, a green water bong and a bag of burnt “roaches.” He was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and issued motor vehicle summonses for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle and uninsured vehicle. He was released pending a court appearance.

Sept. 21 

Someone entered a vehicle parked on Warren St. Police said the ignition had been broken. It was unclear whether this was a forced entry.

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Two Belleville men were apprehended at 2 a.m. at Walnut St. and Nutley Ave. after police learned they had outstanding warrants. Police said Joshua Garcia, 22, had two active warrants from Belleville and Christopher Gallo, 21, had an active warrant from Paramus. Garcia was turned over to Belleville PD after declining to post bail while Gallo was released after he posted bail.

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In an apparent fraud incident, the victim made a purchase at an unidentified store via a card swipe on a phone and, two days later, learned that several unauthorized transactions totaling more than $400 had been made to their card. Sept. 23  Someone smashed the rear window of a van parked on Plymouth Road, police said.

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Police responded to Holy Family Church on Brookline Ave. on a criminal mischief report. The parish’s Good Shepherd Academy school custodian told police that a man he described as white, with blond-brown hair and no shirt, was roller blading and hitting flowers with a stick. Police said several flowers had been uprooted. A check of the area was negative, police said. A day later, a school official notified police that someone had damaged seven plants and defaced a plaque on the north side of the older church near the sidewalk, causing $100 in damages.

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Police made a motor vehicle stop on Washington Ave. after discovering that the driver had active warrants from Clifton, Montclair and Belleville. Joseph Geraldo, 25, of Nutley, was also charged with possession of CDS, possession with intent to distribute and possession of CDS with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school (Washington) after police said a search of Geraldo revealed a pill bottle containing Xanax and a folded dollar bill holding seven pills identified as oxycodone. Geraldo was taken to Essex County Jail after failing to post bail set at $25,000 with a 10% cash option.

Sept. 24 

A Centre St. store owner called police to report that a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt had swiped the pile of newspapers delivered to the front of the store.

Sept. 25 

Police responded to a 9-1-1 call from a Myrtle Ave. residence on a report of a prowler. The resident told police that while watching TV, they heard a car door close outside their window and saw a young white female with long dark-colored hair, wearing a dark-colored dress with a wave pattern checking out the vehicles parked in their driveway. After realizing that she was being watched, the female slipped into the passenger seat of a dark-colored SUV parked with its lights off which then drove away onto Park Ave.

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Someone stole a silver mountain bike valued at $60 from the side of a residence on Prospect St., the owner told police.

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Two cases of identity fraud were reported. In the first, someone opened a Verizon Wireless account using the victim’s name and Social Security number. In the second incident, someone charged an item to the victim’s credit card via Lord & Taylor Online but subsequently canceled the order, then made a subsequent attempt to charge an item at a Pennsylvania store. The victim closed their account and received a new card, police said.

Sept. 26 

Police received a report of a case of identity theft involving a victim who applied for unemployment insurance but was declined on the basis of the unemployment office having a record of the victim currently working in Virginia. The office advised the victim that someone was working under their social security number but wasn’t sure what name they were using.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff