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2 arrested for ‘Apple picking’ in Kearny

KEARNY –

Across the Hudson, where this particular crime has become epidemic, the NYPD refers to the thefts/robberies of iPods, iPhones or other personal electronics as “Apple picking.”

Last Thursday evening, two reputed “Apple pickers” struck on Kearny Ave. At 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31, Officer Jay Ward responded to the report of a robbery on the avenue near West Hudson Park.

According to police, the victim said he had been confronted by a group of people, two of whom then broke from the pack, accosting him. He was reportedly punched in the face, pushed against a parked car, and relieved of the iPod and headphones in his pocket. The assailants then fled on foot, south on Kearny Ave.

After Ward got a description of them from the victim, the KPD put out a BOLO, and was soon alerted that East Newark and Harrison cops were detaining two suspects near the recently reopened Clay St. Bridge.

Police said that one, a 17-year-old from Newark, was in possession of a handgun. The other, identified as Carlos Rojas, 18, also of Newark, reportedly had thrown the iPod on the ground next to a Harrison police car.

Brought to the area by Kearny Det. Ray Lopez, the victim identified the two as his muggers, Police Chief John Dowie said.

Both suspects were turned over to KPD custody. The juvenile was charged with robbery, conspiracy and weapons possession. Rojas was charged with robbery, conspiracy and use of a juvenile to commit a criminal offense.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Jan. 25

At 4 p.m., Vice Squad detectives observed an individual, the focus of an ongoing drug-distribution investigation, in a motor vehicle at Passaic Ave. and the Belleville Pike. In the area of the dashboard, they reportedly found a plastic bag containing suspected cocaine. Arrested was 47-yearold Murat Chich of Kearny, who was charged with possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute, intent to distribute near a public park, and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS.

Jan. 27

Shortly after midnight, P.O. Tom Sumowski spotted a double-parked car impeding traffic on Maple St. As the officer shone a light into the vehicle, the driver climbed into the back seat, “not very stealthily,” Chief Dowie noted. The car’s license plate was found to have expired in 2009. And it belonged on a ‘95 Chevy, not this ‘06 Pontiac.

When Sumowski opened the rear door, he reportedly detected a strong odor of alcohol and found three open beer cans. The driver was assisted from the car and was unable to stand, police said. Because the man spoke only Spanish, P.O. Chris Medina was called to the scene to translate.

The motorist, Angel Tenezaca, 23, of Newark, was taken to HQ and charged with: DWI, DWI in a school zone, having fictitious plates, being an unlicensed driver, driving an uninsured vehicle, obstructing traffic, having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, and refusing to take an Alcotest.

And, “by his own admission,” Dowie said, Tenezaca “was here illegally.” He was held for federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents.

Jan. 28

Vice detectives, on patrol near Garofalo Park at 5 p.m., saw an individual whom they knew to have a revoked license, drive away in a car and then park it and apparently ingest a CDS. In plain view on the driver’s seat, the detectives reportedly found a glassine fold marked “Blackjack” and containing apparent residue of heroin.

Arrested was Dalibor Vilcek, 27, of Kearny, on charges of driving with a suspended license, being under the influence of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jan. 31

P.O. John Fabula, responding to a report of aggravated assault on Tappan St. at 4 p.m., canvassed the area for possible suspects and encountered a 22-year-old Kearny man, Tony Valentin, who allegedly had an outstanding theft-charge warrant out of Bloomfield. Valentin was not charged in connection with the assault but was held for Bloomfield police for the warrant violation.

Feb. 1

Responding to a report of a suspicious person in the area of the park at Hickory St. and Oakwood Ave. at noon, P.O. Vanessa Sevillano saw and interviewed 35-year-old Shaeed Epps, whom she arrested on outstanding warrants from Newark and Elizabeth. Police said Epps has no fixed address.

—- Karen Zautyk

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