Officer John Fabula was on patrol on the 200 block of Passaic Ave. on Jan. 13 when he noticed two individuals “huddled” in the corner of a building and apparently attempting to conceal something, Chief John Dowie reported.
Approaching them on foot, he reportedly saw one trying to stuff a pair of pants into a backpack that appeared to be already full. The second man initially refused to remove his hands from his waistband and face the officer, but eventually produced two bottles of Dove bodywash from under his shirt, Dowie said.
Backup Officers Sean Kelly and Malinda Esposito arrived, but the individual with the backpack reportedly refused to comply with police requests to examine it.
Esposito went to Kmart, reviewed security video, and observed the same two individuals stealing bodywash and deodorant, police said. Armed with an affidavit signed by store security, the officers took the duo into custody and finally searched the backpack, which allegedly was found to contain the same items that had been shoplifted. (Apparently, bodywash and deodorant are favorite black-market items. Either that, or the suspects wanted to smell really sweet and fresh.)
Danny Morales, 35, of Newark was charged with shoplifting, summonsed and released. His alleged cohort — the backpack guy — faces graver consequences. Bruce True, 28, of Newark, allegedly was found to be in possession of three glassine folds of suspected heroin, labeled “Gravity,” two hypodermic syringes, a crack pipe and wire cutters.
Along with shoplifting, True was charged with possession of burglar tools, CDS and drug paraphernalia.
The merchandise was returned to the store.
Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:
An arrest warrant was issued for a woman who fled Kmart on Passaic Ave. after security attempted to detain her on suspicion of shoplifting. The “combative” suspect “violently resisted” the guards and assaulted one with her handbag before escaping in a car with Washington, D.C., plates, Dowie reported.
Officer Leroy Bibbs responded to the 1:15 p.m. report of the crime, did a plate/driver’s license check, and found a Virginia license for the owner. Police said Kmart security identified the woman in the license photo as the suspect: Jdira Nora, 27, of Washington. Patrol units were alerted to be on the lookout for the car.
Officer Jay Ward took a report from a Forest St. resident who believed he had been the victim of a phone scam. The man said he had received a call from two reputed Internal Revenue Service employees who led him to believe he was more than $2,000 in arrears on his taxes and needed to make a payment immediately to avoid an arrest warrant.
The victim was hoodwinked into providing his bank account PIN numbers, and subsequently more than $1,200 was withdrawn in three separate transactions, police said.
The case has been referred to the Detective Bureau for investigation.
At 9:30 p.m., in the area of Kearny and Johnston Aves., Vice detectives observed a car operated by a Belleville man whom they reportedly knew to be the subject of an active warrant out of Union Township. When they stopped the vehicle, they detected the odor of marijuana and a search revealed a container of a substance believed to be the drug, police said. Issa Waldron, 29, was arrested on the warrant and drug charges and also was issued a summons for driving with a suspended license.
Officers Derek Hemphill and Tom Sumowski were on patrol at 3:30 a.m. in South Kearny when they were alerted to a possible assault at a Hackensack Ave. service station. They arrived to find 23-year-old Plainfield resident Charrod Wilson, who denied knowledge of any assault, but who requested that the officers give him a ride home. Said request was politely refused.
People at the station told the cops they did not want Wilson hanging around, but he refused to leave, police said. Checked for warrants, he reportedly was found to be wanted by Woodbridge and finally got his ride in the patrol car, to KPD headquarters, not Plainfield.
At HQ , he phoned “the love of his life” to get a ride home from her, Dowie said, “but apparently her love did not extend beyond a 10-mile radius because she advised him that Kearny was too far,” so he remained a guest of the KPD.
At 3 a.m., Officer Mike Santucci responded with the Kearny EMS to a Devon St. address where a 20-year-old man has been assaulted. The victim, suffering a head injury, was found in the hallway of the multi-family dwelling and was transported to Clara Maass Medical Center. Following inquiries, suspect Reynaldo Fuentes, 29, of Kearny was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault.
At 3:30 a.m., Officer Tom Pontrella responded to the 200 block of Schuyler Ave., where a car had struck a parked vehicle and then left the scene. While Pontrella was searching the area for the 2003 Saturn with heavy front-end damage, the auto was found by Officer Pat Becker on a grassy area adjacent to the Walmart lot. Pontrella arrived to question the driver, Vanessa Casaretto, 30, of Washington Township, who was taken to HQ for an Alcotest and charged with DWI and leaving the scene of an accident. Casaretto was also found to be wanted by Maywood, Rahway and Paramus PD, police said.
At 10 p.m., Vice detectives at Passaic Ave. and Afton St. observed a gray Mercedes speeding, tailgating and travelling erratically, followed it along Afton and Belgrove Drive and stopped it at Devon and Liberty Sts., where the driver was seen discarding an object onto the passenger-side floor, police said. It allegedly turned out to be a vial of ketamine. During a search incident to his arrest, David Lopez, 31, of North Bergen, was found to have a sceond vial of the drug in his jacket pocket, police said. He was charged with possession of a CDS and drug paraphernalia and issued a summons for reckless driving.
At 8 p.m., Officer Malinda Esposito responded to the 100 block of Devon Terrace when a resident reported that his home had been burglarized sometime during the day. Dresser drawers were in disarray, and an iPod and Kindle tablet were missing. Dets. John Telle and Ray Lopez are conducting the follow-up investigation.
– Karen Zautyk