So ‘hungry’ for news, he takes a whole bundle, cops say

An East Orange man has been booked as a serial newspaper stealer in Nutley. On Sept. 30, Hertilus Duvelsaint, 57, was issued a summons for theft and a warrant for eluding police along with several motor vehicle tickets after Nutley police officers say they caught him with the goods.

During the early morning hours, as cops conducted a surveillance of a Centre St. store where prior newspaper thefts had been reported, police said they observed a man, later identified as Duvelsaint, approach the store and take the stack of Star Ledger newspapers delivered there.

Police said the suspect placed the papers in a 2003 4-door silver Toyota and drove off, ignoring officers’ orders to stop. Police said he “accelerated … and continued to flee [while] failing to yield to officers’ vehicles and several red traffic signals.”

The Toyota was finally halted, about a mile west of the crime scene, at Centre St. and Povershon Ave.

Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari said that police have linked Duvelsaint to at least four previous newspaper thefts at the same Centre St. spot on July 23 and Sept. 15, 17 and 24, on the strength of video surveillance providing the suspect’s vehicle make and model and a description of the suspect.

Police surmise that Duvelsaint’s plan was to sell the papers on his own and pocket the assets.

Montanari said that other newspaper thefts have been reported at another Nutley location including one on Aug. 28 in which 400 papers, valued at $400, were taken, “but so far we’ve been unable to trace those crimes to this suspect.”

Meanwhile, Duvelsaint – who, according to Montanari, has declined to provide police with any explanation for taking the papers on Sept. 30 – remains free, pending a court appearance, after posting bail, which was set at $2,500 with a 10% cash option.

In other episodes logged during the week ending Oct. 3, the Nutley PD responded to 50 medical calls, 23 motor vehicle crashes and these incidents:

Sept. 27 

An Oakridge Ave. motor vehicle stop resulted in the arrest of Darren Gutierrez, 21, of Nutley, on charges of possession of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute, possession within 1,000 feet of a school, possession within 500 feet of a park and possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. Gutierrez was released, pending a court date, after posting a 10% cash option on $25,000 bail.

Sept. 28 

Ryan Smith, 30, of Hoboken, was stopped by police while driving on Harrison St. for a warrant from Hackettstown. He was also ticketed for alleged violations of unlicensed driver and maintenance of lamps and turned over to Hackettstown PD.

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Someone took a silver mountain bike that its owner had placed behind some bushes in front of their doorstep on Passaic Ave. The owner told police he’d been hoping to buy a lock for the bike.

Sept. 29 

A tenant in a Chestnut St. apartment building reported that the common door to the building had been forced open. Police checked the interior doors and an unlocked storage area but found nothing disturbed.

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An apparent fraud victim reported to police that they were mailed an invoice for an online poker credit owed to a Bank of America account. Police advised the victim to contact the bank to resolve the issue.

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About two weeks after Nutley PD had charged Martin Lucas, 48, of Newark, at Vreeland and Hillside Aves. in connection with an alleged narcotics transaction involving crack cocaine, Lucas was arrested again on a similar charge – this time in Garfield. Police said Lucas was nabbed at 1:49 a.m. after allegedly pounding on a resident’s door and shouting threats. Police said they found a crack pipe and drug paraphernalia on Lucas when they searched him. He was released on a summons pending a court date.

Sept. 30 

Police responded to a Whitford Ave. residence on a report of an attempted burglary. The residents told police that the front door had what appeared to be pry marks near the handle and exterior locks and that the door wasn’t locking properly. It appeared that no entry had been made nor was anything taken, police said.

Oct. 1 

Someone swiped a cement planter from in front of a Chestnut St. house, the owner told police. The planter, green with a Roman flower design on the outside, had plants in it, weighed more than 50 pounds and was valued at about $70.

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Someone damaged the front steps of Building C in a Passaic Ave. condominium complex, it was reported to police. The vandalism occurred sometime between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., police said.

Oct. 2 

Police responded to an attempted burglary reported at a Franklin Ave. location. A realtor who, police said, is showing the building to prospective occupants, showed officers that the bottom of the front door had pry marks and that the glass in the door was broken. No one got inside, however. The building was secured and detectives were alerted.

Oct. 3 

Someone removed the passenger side mirror from a Coeyman Ave. resident’s vehicle, police said. A piece of the mirror was found in the driveway. The owner told police that four teens were seen inside a 4-door silver sedan driving through the area during the night.

– Ron Leir  

The Observer Staff