Recently, in the Kearny blotter, The Observer noted that Police Chief John Dowie was reminding people to lock their cars. Some are still not heeding this advice. One of the incidents in this week’s KPD reports involves the theft of items from multiple vehicles, most of which “had been left open.” Overnight.
At 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 20, Officer Tom Pontrella responded to a call about individuals apparently attempting to break into cars (the ones not conveniently left unlocked) on Jefferson Ave. He arrived to find a group of youths, who ran down Jefferson toward Passaic Ave.
Additional units responded and searched the area, and Officer Chris Medina stopped two teenage males – described as out of breath and covered in mud – coming up from the riverbank at Passaic and the Belleville Pike. Asked to empty their “bulging pockets,” the pair reportedly produced: GPS cords, loose change, a cigarette lighter, a cell phone, an iPod and, the popular accessory for teenage males, a pink change purse.
The suspects, described as “very uncooperative,” said they did not know each other, “despite the fact that they were traveling together and wearing the same mud,” Dowie said.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Michael O’Neill and P.O. Kevin Canaley had apprehended two other teenagers also in possession of items apparently stolen from cars, including an MP3 player and a GPS unit, police said.
The quartet – two 14-yearolds (one from Newark, one from Belleville) and two 15-year-olds (both from Belleville) – all denied knowledge of the thefts, or even knowing each other, police said. However, at KPD headquarters, they started calling each other by their first names.
All four were charged with theft, burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and curfew violation, and were turned over to their parents or guardians. (Editor’s note: It is not known if any of those adults had wondered where their kids were at 2:30 a.m.)
Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
At 1 p.m., P.O. Joe Vulcano responded to the 200 block of Wilson Ave. on a report that four juvenile males (not the same four in the previous item) had just stolen a bicycle.
Other units went to the area, and Capt. Steve Durkin came upon one of the teens fitting the culprits’ descriptions at Schuyler and Garfield Aves. P.O. Adriano Marques found two others, one reportedly in possession of the stolen bike, and, at 2 p.m., the fourth was nabbed on Bergen Ave. by Sgt. John Taylor.
Two of the suspects were 15, one was 16, one was 17, and all were from Newark. After being charged with theft, conspiracy and trespass, they were released to parents/ guardians.
Det. Sgt. John View and Dets. Scott Traynor and John Telle were on assignment at Kearny Ave. and the Pike at 5 p.m. when they observed a vehicle with two occupants make an illegal u-turn, park on the avenue and just sit there “for quite some time.” About 45 minutes.
Approaching the car, the officers asked the driver, Kinny Lewis, 38, of Rutherford, for his credentials and reportedly found that his license was suspended and that he had outstanding warrants from four jurisdictions: Hackensack, Belleville, Clifton and Paramus.
The officers would have let the passenger, Raymond Fraszczak, 37, of Belleville, take the car, police said, but he was found to be wanted by Livingston. Both were arrested on the warrants.
P.O. Chris Medina, on patrol at Bergen and Highland Aves. at 2:30 a.m., observed a vehicle with an obstructed view “slowly cruising” the area. When he stopped it, he found that the driver, Jose Recoba- Morales, 20, of Newark, had a suspended license, police said. The motorist was taken to HQ and issued summonses for that offense and the view obstruction and failure to surrender a suspended license.
At 3:45 p.m., P.O. John Travelino, patrolling near Kearny Ave. and Afton St., got a computer hit that a passing car had an expired registration. The driver, Sergio Molina, 33, of Kearny, also reportedly had a suspended license. And he was found to be in possession of marijuana, police said. He was charged with the MV and drug offenses.
Yet another bicycle theft was reported at 2 p.m. at Bergen Ave. and Chestnut St., where the culprit had entered an alleyway and then rode north on Chestnut. Within minutes, in front of Kearny High School, Officers Frank West and Jay Ward detained a suspect who matched the thief’s description and who was subsequently identified by the person who had reported the crime, police said.
According to police, the man gave West and Ward a phony name, but P.O. Brian Wisely,who had initially taken the theft report, “recognized him from past police encounters,” Dowie noted. Under his correct identity, Danny Morales, 35, of Newark, was charged with obstruction and theft as well as on an outstanding warrant from Newark.
While quelling a dispute on the 160 block of Kearny Ave. at 2:30 p.m., P.O. John Fabula recognized one of the parties as someone wanted by Kearny, confirmed the outstanding warrant and arrested Miguel Fonseca, 18, of Kearny, on that warrant.
Responding to another dispute in progress, this one at Afton St. and Kearny Ave. at 10 p.m., Officer Fabula encountered a “very agitated” Shaeed Epps, 36, whom regular readers of the blotter will recall as having no known address but who “visits” town on a regular basis. While being questioned, Epps reportedly became more vocal and profane and was advised to “tone it down,” as a crowd was gathering. Advised he was being charged with disorderly conduct, and on an outstanding warrant from Elizabeth, he continued to be aggressive, police said, and it took three officers to subdue him: Fabula, P.O. Sean Kelly and Chief Dowie, who had come to the scene as backup.
Epps was then additionally charged with resisting arrest and defiant trespass and was sent to the Hudson County Jail.
At 9 p.m., Officers Brian Wisely and Frank West were following a speeding Chevy Impala on Rts. 1&9 in South Kearny when they witnessed the vehicle jump to the shoulder of the road and pass a tractortrailer on the right, causing the truck to slam on its brakes, police said. The Impala then veered off the highway and pulled into a parking lot off Campus Drive, where it was stopped. The officers reportedly detected the odor of marijuana and saw in the center console an open zipper pouch containing a plastic bag, which in turn contained 13 smaller bags of pot, police said. The driver, Robert Alcaide, 41, of Brooklyn, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia and with careless driving.
– Karen Zautyk