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Reports from the Kearny Police blotter

A different sort of shoplifting suspect was arrested last week at Walmart. This one, Kearny police reported, walked out of the store not with stolen goods, but with cash scammed from the returns counter.

At 1:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Officers Steve Hroncich and Cesar Negron responded to an alert from store security, who reported that a man had left the premises with a $63+ refund for items he had not purchased. How did he get the money?

Security said he had picked up discarded receipts from the parking lot, entered Walmart and removed from the shelves the same items as were on the receipts and took it all to the returns counter, getting a “refund.”

A short time later, Negron spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description just off Harrison Ave. in Harrison, took him into custody and brought him back to the store for identification.

Charged with shoplifting was 18-year-old Julian Yates of Newark, who was being held on $2,000 bail.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Aug. 30

At 3:30 p.m., responding to complaints of drug use in the area, the Vice Squad was on Schuyler Ave. near the Kearny-Harrison border, where they observed what appeared to be a drug transaction. Arrested for alleged possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia were Joseph Berl, 24, and David Herman, 21, both of Harrison.

Returning to the same area at 5:45 p.m., the officers witnessed another apparent transaction and saw one suspect then enter a parked car and drive away. When he was stopped on Davis Ave. at Harrison Ave., police said they observed him remove something from his shirt and discard it on the floor. The item was found to be a bag of suspected cocaine, police said. Two more plastic bags, containing suspected marijuana, were reportedly found in his pocket.

Charged with possession of the drugs and paraphernalia was 60-year-old Dante Manzamares of Harrison.

Sept. 1

Officers John Fabula and Dave Rakowski were called to Kearny Ave. and Afton St. at 2:30 p.m. to deal with a loud and disorderly group, one of whom – an 18-year-old Kearny male – appeared to be especially agitated and under the influence of some unknown substance. When the teen was asked to take a seat on the curb, onlookers gathered, and Fabula told them to disperse. Most heeded him, but one 17-year-old Kearny male pushed past, bumped him and laughed in his face. The kid was arrested for obstructing an investigation, taken to headquarters and later released to his adult sister.

Rakowski remained at the scene to await the ambulance that had been summoned for the other youth, who was believed to be in need of medical attention.

At 3:30 p.m., Rakowski, P.O. Sean Kelly and Sgt. Anthony Limite responded to a twovehicle accident at the intersection of Quincy Ave. and Devon St. One of the drivers, fitting the description of a man known to police, reportedly fled on foot down Quincy. Kelly, who knew the man’s address, assumed he would be heading home and saw him arrive, reportedly carrying a plastic bag containing metal canisters. Police said these proved to be aerosol inhalants.

Carlos Crincev, 33, of Kearny, arrested before for alleged “huffing” of aerosols, was reportedly unsteady on his feet. He was given field sobriety tests, arrested, taken to HQ, and again provided with Narcotics Anonymous literature, police said.

Crincev was charged with: DWI; leaving the scene of an accident; reckless driving; being under the influence of a CDS; possession of a CDS, and refusal to take an Alcotest.

Sept. 2

At 2:10 a.m., Officer Ben Wuelfing stopped a vehicle reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed on Passaic Ave. between North and South Midland Aves. Police said he detected a strong odor of alcohol, gave the driver field sobriety tests and took her to HQ for an Alcotest. Charged with DWI and careless driving was Angie Gomez, 27, of East Newark.

P.O. Fabula responded to Walmart at 3:45 p.m. after two men reportedly tried to shoplift with a 43-inch plasma TV. Confronted in the foyer by store security, the suspects became combative and fled, leaving the TV behind.

Police Chief John Dowie noted that an “upstanding citizen” who had witnessed the confrontation and saw the men run to a car, called police anonymously to provide the license plate number.

Fabula checked the DMV photo of the registered owner and matched it to one of the suspects, Dowie said.

Because of the assault on a guard, the crime was elevated from shoplifting to robbery, and a warrant for same was issued against Randolph Samuel, 43, of Jersey City.

Sept. 3

Det. Mike Gonzalez responded to a local health-care facility at 10 a.m. to follow up on a theft and forgery investigation involving a credit card reported stolen from a patient being treated there.

The detective had found that the card was subsequently used at five Kearny stores – Discount City, Street Smart, Walmart, Wawa and Quick Chek – viewed their security videos and developed a suspect.

After being interviewed, Melissa Sheppard, 38, of Harrison, was charged with credit card theft, theft by deception and forgery. Police said she had worked at the health-care facility.

Sept. 4

Yet another theft attempt was reported at Walmart, this one involving a man who allegedly tried to abscond, all by himself, with a 60-inch television valued at $1,000. He was detained by security and taken into custody at 9:40 p.m. by Officer Wuelfing. The suspect, John Canady, 42, of Newark, was brought to HQ and charged with shoplifting.

– Karen Zautyk

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