A Newark woman is being sought in connection with the alleged use of counterfeit bills to defraud a local merchant, Nutley PD said.
Police said the episode unfolded on Nov. 15 when a woman entered a Franklin Ave. business and used fake $100 bills to purchase $900 worth of gift cards.
The discovery that the bills were not legitimate currency wasn’t made until after the woman had left the store and could not be traced, police said. However, police said that her image was captured on the store’s surveillance camera system and was circulated to surrounding police departments.
At the same time, police said that detectives working with patrol officers developed a couple of other leads to establish her identity as Wineoka Jordan, 51, of Newark.
Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari noted that Chief Tom Strumolo – in consultation with Mayor/Public Safety Director Alphonse Petracco – has assigned patrol officers to assist detectives with an investigation of multiple burglaries and other cases.
Among those assisting, Montanari said, are Officers Anderson Antonio and John Mecka, who partnered in working with detectives on the counterfeit cash case and came up with an image from the state Division of Motor Vehicles that matched “dead on” the one from the surveillance tape and arranged for a photo array of similar looking females, including the suspect, to be shown the store manager who picked out the suspect’s image from the array.
Additionally, Montanari said, on a piece of scratch paper on which the suspect had written that was recovered from the Franklin Ave. store, they found a notation of an appointment at a doctors’ clinic in Newark which Mecka visited and came up with the suspect’s name.
Using the video from the tape, the DMV image and the writing sample, police recently established Wineoka as the suspect in the case. She was charged with theft by deception and a warrant was issued for her arrest, Montanari said. As of last week, she remained at large but police are optimistic she will be traced, he added.
In the week between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2, the Nutley PD also logged these incidents:
Police pulled over a motor vehicle traveling on Hillside Ave. after observing that the vehicle had an inoperable front passenger headline. But the driver, Anthony Casale III, 18, of Clifton, ran into more trouble after police said they found two round metal objects on the front passenger floor believed to be marijuana grinders. Police said each grinder had suspected marijuana residue on them. Casale was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and issued two summonses for maintenance of lamps and failure to provide valid insurance card.
Police conducted a traffic stop on Washington Ave. of a green Jeep after noticing that its driver’s side brake light was out. In the passenger seat, police said, was the registered owner of the vehicle: Deborah Cedeno-Olmo, 35, of Nutley, who had an outstanding warrant from Bordentown. After Bordentown PD was advised she could not make bail, Cedeno- Olmo was released with a new court date. The driver of the Jeep was given a summons for maintenance of lamps.
A fraud victim told police that accounts for two mobile phone numbers had been opened in their name and that they’d been charged $1,499 for two iPhone 6 models picked up at a store in Westchester, N.Y. Police said T-Mobile, the vendor, has closed the accounts and registered the transaction as fraudulent.
Another fraud victim reported that two unauthorized charges totaling more than $900 were made on their bank debit card – one for $200.67 at Game Stop in Manhattan and another at Quick Chek in Totowa for $756.16. Police said the bank has closed the card account.
– Ron Leir