This week’s Walmart crime does not (for once) involve shoplifting, but the losses to the store reportedly amounted to nearly $3,000. It was due to vandalism.
At 10:30 p.m., March 7, Officers Jose Castillo and Mina Ekladious responded to a Walmart security report that a teenager had removed a fire extinguisher from the store wall and proceeded to empty its contents over a luggage display and arts and crafts items. The damage to the merchandise was estimated at $2,689.
Add to that $79 to replace the extinguisher and $100 for the cost of clean-up, for a total of $2,868.
Arrested at the scene was Ivo DaSilva, 18, of Newark, charged with criminal mischief over $500.
Police said his antics were captured not only on store security cameras, but also on his own cell phone. Both videos have been placed into evidence.
It is not known if, or why, the suspect had some particular animosity toward suitcases or arts and crafts.
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Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:
Pursuant to an ongoing narcotics investigation, Vice officers had placed Janet Gorski, 58, of Kearny, under surveillance and, at 10 a.m., confronted her at Grove and Maple Sts. after she had exited a taxi. She allegedly was found to be in possession of 18 wax folds of heroin: 10 stamped “Passion”; eight, “Deebo.”
She was charged on heroin and drug paraphernalia offenses, being under the influence of a CDS, and on a $100 Kearny contempt of court warrant.
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At 8:30 p.m., Officer Victor Girdwood stopped a 2015 Toyota that had nearly caused an accident near Kearny and Quincy Aves. after rapidly pulling into traffic without signaling, police said. Driver Sonia Espinal, 52, of Kearny, reportedly had a suspended license and a Paterson contempt warrant. She was arrested on those offenses and also issued a failure-to-signal summons, and Paterson PD was notified.
Officer Michael Gontarczuk, driving behind a 2001 Buick on John St. at 7:30 p.m., was alerted by computer that its registration was expired. Before he could stop it, police said, the car began travelling in a “directionless, nonsensical pattern”: John St., Grant Ave., Belgrove Drive, Johnston Ave., Passaic Ave. Gontarczuk finally caught up with it at BJ’s, where driver Damon Gaskin, 42, of Newark, was arrested on two warrants: one from the Essex County Sheriff in connection with a CDS-distribution conviction, and an assault warrant from Orange. He was also issued summonses for driving while suspended and operating an unregistered vehicle. And he was held for the Essex County authorities.
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At 10:40 p.m., headquarters received a call from a 32-year-old Haledon woman that her car was being followed through Kearny by a 2010 white Ford. Units were alerted, and Officers Jonathan Dowie, David Bush and Andres Fernandes located both the woman’s vehicle and the suspicious Ford at Bennett and Kearny Aves. Police said the Ford driver, Kyle Dallas, 34, of Palmyra, N.J., claimed that he knew someone with a car just like woman’s.
Police also said Dallas’ eyes were droopy and his speech slow and slurred.
Following FSTs and further drug tests at HQ, during which he reportedly kept falling asleep, he was charged with being, and driving, under the influence of a CDS.
HQ received a 1 a.m. report of an individual sleeping in a 2004 Ford Explorer in the traffic lane at Duke St. and Kearny Ave. Sgt. Jack Corbett and Officers Sean Podolski and Derek Hemphill arrived to find the idling vehicle and awakened “dumbfounded” driver Luis Villafuerte, 63, of Kearny, who told the cops that he was in Harrison, police said. Following FSTs and an Alcotest, he was charged with DWI.
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Officers Chris Medina and Dean Gasser were sent at 6 p.m. to the parking lot of a business at 909 Newark Tpke. on the report of a 1998 Honda being broken into. On arrival, they noticed a 2011 Mazda with New York plates and three occupants, one of whom — carrying a black bookbag — jumped from the back seat, began running and ignored orders to halt, police said.
Medina chased him on foot and Gasser cornered him with the patrol car, but the runner (wearing neither shoes nor socks) allegedly remained aggressive, even after he was tackled to the ground by both cops. When he was finally cuffed, he reportedly was found to be in possession of a key fob belonging to the burglarized Honda.
Police said company representatives identified the bookbag as likely having come from inside their building, which was confirmed when Det. John Fabula found evidence that the premises had been entered and an interior door broken.
Suspect Christopher Beltran, 27, of Newark, was charged with burglary to a MV and to the building, receiving stolen property, obstructing the administration of law, resisting arrest, and criminal mischief. Believed to be under the influence of something, he was taken to Clara Maass Medical Center. His two companions apparently were not involved in the crimes and were released.
At 4:45 p.m., Officer Jordenson Jean stopped a 2017 Infiniti on the Newark Tpke. for a tinting violation and determined that driver Miguel Rodriguez, 27, of Elmwood Park, was wanted on a $750 Bloomfield DWI warrant, police said. He was arrested, taken to HQ, and Bloomfield PD was notified.
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Finishing his KPD shift at 6 p.m., Officer Jean reported for off-duty detail at ShopRite and was told by management that there was a woman who was refusing to leave the restroom. Upon questioning by Jean, police said, Faye McKnight, 51, of Newark, admitted that she was getting high and a search produced a cut straw and eight wax folds of suspected heroin, stamped “Victim.” She was charged with possession of the drug and paraphernalia, being under the influence of a CDS, and on two drug-related Nrwark warrants: $5,000 and $500. Newark PD was notified.
Just after midnight, police said, Officers Bush and Dowie spotted a 2006 Mazda with no front plate at Oakwood and Kearny Aves., stopped it at Oakwood and Hickory St., detected the odor of marijuana and recovered from the car a large pack of loose, raw pot — later found to be 4.8 oz. — a digital scale and a package of many small plastic bags. Driver Eric Teixeira, 20, of Kearny, was reportedly also in possession of $193 in numerous small-denomination bills.
Teixeira was charged with: the license plate violation; possession of a CDS in a MV; possession of more than 50 grams of pot; possession with intent to distribute; intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and 500 feet of a playground, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
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On Feb. 27, a 37-year-old Kearny man notified the KPD that he had paid $1,600 to another man who had promised to supply three cell phones and two watches — which were never delivered. Det. Fabula reportedly developed as a suspect Jacobo Ordonez, 34, of Kearny. At 9 p.m, March 6, Fabula, Det. Sgt. Michael Gonzalez and Officer Daniel Esteves located Ordonez on Rose St. and arrested him for theft by deception.
— Karen Zautyk