Lock your cars when you park, cops warn: NPD blotter

After five reports of burglary to motor vehicles during the past week, Nutley PD issued a public advisory recommending that all residents lock their vehicles when not in use. In an incident reported on Nov. 1, the owner of a vehicle parked on Highland Lane told HQ that when they were about to enter their unlocked car, they noticed that the driver’s side door was slightly ajar and that items valued at $800 were removed from the vehicle.

Four other burglaries were reported on Nov. 7.

On that date, police said two separate auto entries occurred on Valley Road. In one incident, the owner said various items were taken and acknowledged that the car may have been left unsecured. In the other, the owner said that paperwork and several items were found scattered throughout the vehicle’s interior but found no sign of forced entry.

At a Bloomfield Ave. location, someone opened an unlocked vehicle and removed prescription papers and more than $200 in change and cash.

And, on Prospect St., a caller told police that they found their black Chevrolet SUV with its driver’s side door halfway open but no items removed. Police said there were no signs of forced entry.

Aside from the auto burglaries, between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7, Nutley PD responded to 21 motor vehicle accidents, 17 disputes, 17 suspicious incidents/ persons and the following incidents:

Nov. 1 

Police arrested Walter Bell, 67, of Hopatcong, on River Road after conducting a plate inquiry and learned that Bell was wanted on a warrant from Hackettstown. Bell was released, pending court action, after posting bail.

Nov. 3 

PSE&G reported an attempted burglary at their property near Cook Road. Pry marks were found near the dead bolt locks on the door of a trailer and the locks were damaged but nothing was taken from the trailer, police said.

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Police responded to an activated burglar alarm sounding at a Passaic Ave. one-family home and found that the west side door had been forced open. After the building was secured, police notified the owner who, after examining the interior, reported everything was intact.

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The owner of a car parked in the Chase Bank lot on Centre St. told police that after returning to the vehicle, they found the windshield scratched and the wiper bent.

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A Mapes Ave. resident was apparently cheated out of their $300 iPhone 6 plus because when UPS delivered the package to their house, an Hispanic man flagged down the driver on Chestnut St. and told the driver he was waiting for his package to be delivered to Mapes Ave. Police said the man signed for the package and left. UPS is investigating.

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Police conducted a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle observed leaving from in front of a home near Chestnut St. that has been under surveillance for possible drug distribution. Police said they detected the odor of suspected unburnt marijuana coming from the vehicle and its two occupants and saw the passenger moving around and reaching under the passenger’s seat. At this point, police called for the Essex County Canine Unit and the dog allegedly gave a strong hit to the vehicle’s doors and the passenger. Police searched the vehicle after getting the owner’s consent and recovered suspected marijuana from the vehicle. Police arrested Frank DiLiberto, 20, of Nutley, and Michael Cosme, 22, of Linden, on charges of possession of marijuana, possession of CDS with intent and possession of paraphernalia. Police said a search of DiLiberto uncovered packages of marijuana in his sock. Both were released pending a court date. Nov. 5  Police patrolling Municipal Lot 1 spotted a man rifling through a bag containing several loaves of bread which had been delivered to a local restaurant for later use and placing one loaf into his jacket. When officers approached, the man, later identified as James Cox, 58, of Nutley, began placing the loaves back into the bag. Cox was charged with theft of movable property and released pending a court date.

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A driver traveling on Rt. 21 South reported that a piece of metal had suddenly struck their car’s windshield, damaging the hood and shattering the windshield. Police said the damage was consistent with the impact of a metal object and advised the driver to contact their insurance company.

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Someone slashed three tires of a vehicle parked on Edison Ave. Police said they have no known suspects.

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A Duncan Place homeowner notified police of a possible burglary in progress, saying that they’d found the residence ransacked and heard a noise inside. After searching the home, police said they determined that an intruder got in through a rear window and got out through the back sliding doors which were left ajar. Additional searching found that the gate on the north side of the house was open. The owners told police that a large amount of proceeds was taken.

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Police were sent to Ridge Road and Centre St. on a report of a suspicious person described as a black man, 30 to 40, wearing blue jeans and black sweatshirt, with an umbrella and backpack. At the location, police said they found a man matching the suspect’s description who reportedly told them they were walking home after a stop at Burger King but police said they found that account inconsistent. Police said the suspect also gave a false name and date of birth. Quaire Wilson, 25, of Bloomfield, was charged with hindering apprehension and released pending a court appearance.

Nov. 6 

Police responded to a Cottage Place residence on a report of a tree down on private property. The resident said a neighbor’s tree had fallen on the front end of their vehicle. The resident said they’d arrange to have the tree removed from their driveway and would contact their insurance company. Police left a message for the neighbor to advise them about the incident.

– Ron Leir 

The Observer Staff