Two suspects tied to last month’s robbery of a Belleville deli are in police custody.
Thomas Moore, 24, and Zachary Hoger, 22, both of Newark, are charged with first-degree armed robbery and also face similar charges from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office for a robbery in Branch Brook Park and three robberies in Newark, police said.
According to the Belleville Police Department, on May 14, two men — one brandishing a long-barreled rifle and the other masked — took $300 from the owner of Pat’s Village Deli on Newark Ave.
Police said the owner was slashed in the stomach with a box-cutter. He was taken to University Hospital, Newark, for treatment and later released, police said.
Det. Sgt. John McAloon of the BPD said a joint task force comprised of members of the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Newark Police Department and Belleville PD undertook an investigation and developed a lead in the case that resulted in seven days of undercover surveillance of the Stephen Crane Village on the Newark/Belleville border, where the two suspects live.
That stakeout, McAloon said, culminated June 4 when officers observed the suspects exit the housing complex — located next to the deli — with one reportedly pointing a rifle at a man. The officers then came forward, prompting the suspects to flee, but were caught at Newark Ave. and Clara Maass Drive after a brief foot pursuit, McAloon said.
Moore and Hoger were remanded to the Essex County Jail to await court action.
Meanwhile, in another matter, the BPD announced the arrest of three Newark men in connection with 10 motor vehicle burglaries reported during the early morning hours on Tuesday, June 13.
The break-ins occurred mostly on DeWitt Ave., with the rest on Tappan Ave. and Rossmore Place, according to McAloon.
And many of the vehicles had been left unlocked, he noted.
Christopher Ruiz, 30, Leonardo Suarez, 19, and Alexander Sarvaic Jr., 33, have been charged with the vehicular burglaries and are currently in the Essex County Jail.
McAloon said a BPD undercover detail “caught them in the act” of attempting to break into vehicles.
Sarvaic had been previously arrested June 1 for having allegedly burgled five vehicles on High St. in Belleville, McAloon said. One of the owners reported that tools valued at $500 were taken from his vehicle. Sarvaic had been released pending prosecution on the June 1 incidents.
McAloon said the BPD is also seeking another suspect, listed as Dashawn Bowens, 20, of Jersey City, in connection with a car burglary on Preston St. on June 12.
Police have reported a rash of car burglaries in recent weeks: Nutley PD logged 22 incidents involving burglaries of unlocked vehicles on June 4 on Howard Place, Linden Place, Church, Clement and Webster Sts. and Hazel Terrace.
To help secure property against such incidents, the BPD is urging residents to follow these precautionary steps:
• Residents who are expecting package delivery and are not able to be home at the time of delivery are encouraged to make arrangements with friends or neighbors to accept the package rather than leaving it unattended at the front door.
•Home security systems, especially camera surveillance systems, are another way to deter criminal activity and can provide significant help to the BPD with its investigations. These units are reasonably priced and the technology has advanced to include completely wireless systems with secure cloud storage.
For more information on how to make Belleville a safer community, residents and business owners are invited to call Police Chief Mark Minichini and/or Police Capt. Victor Mesce, who oversees the Neighborhood Watch program, at 973-450-3333.