Residents cautioned by cops on home burglaries: NPD blotter

The Nutley Police Department is warning residents to be wary of suspicious activity around their homes, given a higher than usual call for service for residential burglaries.

During the past two months, the PD has responded to reports of 10 burglaries, of which three were attempted burglaries.

Since September, police have been called to check locations on Whitford, Bloomfield, Grant, Gless and Conover Aves., Wilshire and Winthrop Drives, and Pake St. Detectives are continuing to investigate every lead on each of the incidents.

Nutley Mayor/Police Director Alphonse Petracco and Police Chief Tom Strumolo said they have initiated supplemental patrols and intelligence sharing activities with the aim of putting a stop to these incidents.

Police are encouraging anyone who sees anything suspicious, whether individuals or vehicles, to call headquarters at 973-284-4940.

Between Oct. 18 and 24, Nutley PD responded to 14 disputes, 26 motor vehicle accidents, 11 suspicious incidents and three missing juveniles, in addition to these matters:

Oct. 18 

Owners of a Winthrop Drive home reported that while they were away, someone got inside – probably through a rear window – and rummaged through the interior.

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A Coeyman Ave. resident told police they spotted a man described as white, about 5-feet-10, about 200 pounds, wearing a green hooded sweat shirt, dark hair and dark beard, holding a smart phone, in their yard after hearing their dog barking. After the resident yelled out, the man ran through the yard north onto Laura Ave. Police checked the area but couldn’t find him.

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When police and fire units responded to a smoke condition at a Franklin Ave. building, they found residents in the lobby trying to rouse the occupant of an apartment where a smoke alarm had sounded and smoke was seen. One was knocking on the door so hard he hurt his hand and was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center for treatment. Meanwhile, the Fire Department made a forced entry to the apartment where they found a pan with food had been left on the stove and was on fire. At this point, the tenant woke up, reportedly refused to leave and blocked the doorway, interfering with firefighters so police arrested Tom Edison, 64, of Staten Island, N.Y., on charges of obstructing administration of law or other governmental function. He was and released pending a court date.

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A Ridge Road resident told police that a car drove across their lawn, for the third time this year, causing damage to it.

Oct. 20 

A man was observed walking onto wet cement where a sidewalk in front of an E. Centre St. residence was under construction, leaving behind footsteps in the cement. Police said the man told them he didn’t realize the cement was freshly poured.

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Rose Guido of Nutley was issued a summons for shoplifting after the manager of a Harrison St. business told police that the woman allegedly tried to conceal various items totaling $102.86 in her purse and walk out without paying. Guido told police she was sorry but she had no money.

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A burglar kicked in the front door of a Bloomfield Ave. home to get inside, police said. When the resident returned home, they found the interior lights on and much of the apartment disrupted: a mattress overturned, various drawers pulled out and contents strewn about. Both Nutley PD detectives and the Crime Scene Division of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office are investigating.

Oct. 21 

Michael Regno, 44, of Nutley, was issued a summons for disorderly conduct after police said he disrupted a Washington Ave. auto dealership by yelling about his car not starting while in the dealership parking lot. When officers tried to calm him, police said Regno flew into a rage and began shouting derogatory comments about the owner. He was advised not to return.

Oct. 24 

While on patrol on Franklin Ave., at about 1 a.m., police noticed an occupied vehicle parked for a long time in front of closed businesses. After checking the vehicle’s registration, police learned that there was an active warrant from Bloomfield for the vehicle’s registered owner who was the driver. Christina Hernandez, 38, of Nutley, was arrested but released, pending a court date, after posting bail.

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Police were called to a Gless Ave. home where the owner had noticed damage to his front door. Police said they noticed chip marks on the bottom of the door frame and other damage suggesting someone had tried to kick in the door but didn’t get inside.

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A Conover Ave. resident told police they’d just returned home only to find that their back door had been tampered with. Detectives are investigating.

 – Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff