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KPD nabs 2 in ATM ‘skimming’

Two Canadians who had allegedly installed “skimming” devices at two area Chase Bank ATMs were arrested last week by Kearny police following a cooperative investigation with federal authorities.

Crooks place “skimmers” inside ATM bank-card readers to steal information from a card’s magnetic strip and then illegally withdraw money from the account.

Det. Mike Gonzalez, working on the case with the U.S. Secret Service, had set up surveillance at various locations and, at 3:20 p.m., Jan. 20, observed the suspects attempting to enter the Chase Bank on Kearny Ave., “in all probability to recover the device,” Police Chief John Dowie said.

Dowie said a “skimmer” was also found at the Chase Bank on Ridge Road in North Arlington.

Gonzalez arrested Rukashian Balasubramian, 23, of Crescent Markham, Ontario, and Sumi Nageswaran, 27, of Scarborough, Ontario, who were charged with conspiracy to commit theft and criminal use of a scanning device.

When apprehended, they reportedly were in possession of about $900 in cash.

Bail for each was set at $20,000.

On the same day, at 4:50 p.m., a handgun-wielding robber entered the office of the gas station at Kearny and Seeley Aves. and relieved the attendant of approximately $300.

The suspect, a light-skinned Hispanic male, age 20-25, and wearing two hooded sweatshirts and black pants, fled on foot west on Seeley, presumably to a car around the corner. P.O. Jay Ward handled the initial crime report, and Det. John Telle is conducting the follow-up investigation.

Other recent reports from the Kearny PD blotter included the following:

Jan. 20

Police Officers Joe Martin and Dean Gasser responded at 1:20 a.m. to reports of a loud party at a Beech St. home, reportedly the scene of prior disorderly fests. After ringing the bell and advising the 17-year-old host that the party was over, the teen reportedly “took offense” and slammed the door in the cops’ faces, and on Martin’s foot. The juvenile was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer. The juvenile’s father, who apparently had allowed the parties, was issued a town summons for violation of the noise ordinance.

At 11:30 p.m.. Officers Derek Hemphill and Tom Sumowski went to the 300 block of Belgrove Drive on the report of a fight. One of the individuals at the scene, 20-year-old Gilberto Pascual of Union, was reportedly found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant from that town. He was arrested on that and for underage possession of alcohol (three cans of beer) and possession of a fraudulent N.J. driver’s license, police said. Bail was set at $7,500.

Jan. 22

P.O. Chris Medina, responding to a report of a shoplifter at Wal-Mart at 11:40 p.m., arrived to find “a very defiant and confrontational” female being detained by store security for allegedly stealing a body scrubber. Given the suspect’s aggressiveness, Dowie said, P.O. Mike Santucci responded as backup. As they attempted to cuff her, she reportedly threw herself on the ground and continued to struggle until the cops managed to get her into the patrol car. At HQ , 22-year-old Tiffany Moore of Newark was charged with shoplifting, resisting arrest and hindering apprehension by providing false information as to her identity.

Jan. 23

The vice unit, on patrol at Locust and Franklin Aves. at 10:30 p.m., spotted an individual who they confirmed had an outstanding warrant out of North Arlington. It turned out he had two more, from Newark and from Belleville. And he also had a bag of Oxycontin in his sock, police said. Charged on the warrants and with possession of narcotics and drug paraphernalia was John Gross, 20, of Kearny.

Jan. 24

Sgt. John Taylor, working school security and traffic enforcement at 9 a.m., saw a vehicle with a lighting violation in the area of Halstead St. and Belgrove Drive.

Using his mobile data computer, he found that the registered owner had a suspended license. Police said the car was being driven by the owner’s son — but he also turned out to have a suspended license. Arrested was 19-year-old Gian Salazar of Kearny.

At 9:30 p.m., vice unit officers on surveillance near West Hudson Park observed what appeared to be a drug transaction. Arrested for possession of two ziplock bags containing suspected marijuana was a 16-year-old Kearny youth, who was released to the custody of his parents.

P.O. Tom Sumowski, responding to a report of a motor vehicle accident at Passaic and Bergen Aves. at 11:15 p.m.. was told by witnesses that the driver who had rear-ended another car appeared to be intoxicated. That driver, the report said, was leaning against her car for support and the offficer detected a strong odor of alcohol.

She reportedly told him that she had not seen the vehicle in front of her. Charged with DWI, careless driving and refusing to take an Alcotest at HQ was Roberta Bradley, 55, of North Arlington. Her car was towed from the scene.

Jan. 25

Another crash allegedy inolving alcohol occurred at 2:45 a.m., when Edgardo Fisher, 26, of Kearny drove his Chevy Trailblazer onto the center embankment at Laurel and Passaic Aves. and hit a tree. When Officers Tom Floyd and Dean Gasser and Sgt. John Becker arrived on the scene, they reportedly found Fisher staggering in the roadway. According to police, he refused medical attention and admitted he had been traveling south on Passaic when he lost control of his vehicle. An Alcotest was administered, and he was charged with DWI and careless driving.

– Karen Zautyk

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