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KPD: DWI nets robbery suspect

A Kearny man sought as the suspect in two strong-arm robberies last week — one in Kearny, one in Harrison — did law enforcement a favor by cutting short their hunt for him. That same day, he ended up in custody, getting himself arrested for drunk driving in Montclair, police reported.

KPD Chief John Dowie said the first robbery occurred at 6:30 a.m., Feb. 23, at a gas station at Kearny and Linden Aves.

A man driving a white SUV with Pennsylvania plates engaged the station attendant in conversation and then requested change. When the attendant produced a roll of bills, the customer allegedly attempted to grab it, and a tug-of-war ensued.

The robber managed to get a portion of it, less than $100, and drove off, heading south on Kearny Ave., Dowie said.

Officer Adriano Marques, Sgt. Michael Cardella and Det. John Plaugic responded to the scene, and Plaugic learned that, a short time after the Kearny crime, a Harrison service station was robbed — reportedly by a man driving a white SUV with Pennsylvania plates.

After further investigation, Det. Michael Gonzalez developed as a suspect 44-year-old Kearny resident Anthony Froilan, who had previously been arrested for similar crimes in New York and an armed robbery in Phoenix, Dowie said.

Police launched a search for Froilan, who turned up hours later in cuffs in Montclair on a DWI charge.

Froilan was charged with the Kearny crime and was lodged in the Essex County Jail.

Other recent reports on the KPD blotter included the following: 

Feb. 20

At 9 p.m., Vice detectives had under surveillance two males who appeared to be sharing a marijuana cigar in the area of Johnston and Kearny Aves. After confirming their suspicions, police said, the officers arrested

Kearny residents Efrain Ortiz, 39, and 19-year-old Diosdaldo Reyes, identified as Ortiz’ son. Both were charge with possession and use of a CDS and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Feb. 23

Officer Chris Medina responded to a 2 a.m. report of an individual who appeared to be defacing a car in the area of Schuyler and Arlington Aves. Officer Michael Santucci interviewed the witness, who provided a description of the suspect, and Medina found a man fitting that description on Ivy St. Police said 55-year-old Carlos Sequeira of Kearny, who apparently harbored some resentment against its owner, admitted to damaging the vehicle, a 2013 Mazda that had been “keyed.” Sequeira was charged with criminal mischief.

Feb. 25

At 4 p.m., Office Jay Ward arrested Natalie Rogers, 42, of Kearny near ShopRite on warrants from Kearny and Newark. Police said the Kearny warrant stemmed from a 2012 theft of “a substantial amount” of tools from a local business. Her new bail was set at $2,500.

The Vice Unit took into custody Samuel Cantarinhas, 26, of Kearny at Kearny Ave. and Liberty St. at 9 p.m. after observing him examining what appeared to be marijuana and confirming their suspicions, police said.

He was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Dets. Scott Traynor and Ray Lopez went to a Maple St. residence at 11:30 p.m. to arrest Vanessa Pagan, 32, of Kearny on an outstanding warrant related to a June 2013 burglary. While at the apartment, the detectives reportedly observed, in plain view, two vials of suspected cocaine and a glassine fold of suspected heroin, labeled Top Gun.” Pagan was arrested on the warrant and drug-possession charges and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.

Feb. 27

Vice detectives were on patrol on the 500 block of Belgrove Drive at 4:45 p.m. when they reportedly observed 36-year-old Ricardo Santos of Newark, described as a “known drug offender,” enter onto the porch of a private home and peer in the window. Santos then helped himself to a package on the porch, walked around the corner to Oakwood Ave., opened the box and began to remove the contents, police said.

The detectives approached him and determined that the name on the package was not Santos’, and a search pursuant to arrest found him to be in possession of a hypodermic needle and a bag of suspected marijuana, police said.

Santos was charged with theft, criminal trespass, peering into a dwelling (we are assured that is a specific wording of the offense) and possession of the needle, pot and paraphernalia. Police said he was also wanted on a Newark warrant.

The Belgrove Drive homeowner was contacted and confirmed the package was hers. It contained costume jewelry.

–Karen Zautyk

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