• At 4:44 p.m., police were called to High and Prospect Sts. where they found a large tree limb next to a parked car. Police said the vehicle, parked on High St., was dented on the driver’s side of the vehicle. The owner told police the tree limb had fallen on their car. The branch was removed by the township. Police said the branch had fallen from private property.
• Police said they solved a shoplifting incident at a Franklin Ave. business, reported at 8:46 p.m., with the arrest of a suspect. Police said a store employee told them that a man described as white, wearing a blue sweatshirt, blue jeans and a black hat, left the store with two Foster Grant sunglasses, valued at $13.99 each, and was last seen on Franklin Ave. entering a blue van with the words “X Pert Pest Control” with a big orange X on the side of the van, last seen southbound on Franklin Ave. heading towards Belleville. After alerting Belleville PD, police said officers from Belleville found a vehicle matching the van’s description parked in a resident’s driveway. Nutley PD responded to the location where they said they spotted an individual who matched the description they observed on a store surveillance tape. Police said the suspect, Eric Zungri, 21, of Belleville, admitted taking a pair of sunglasses without paying for them and told police where he’d placed the items, behind a local bakery where they were found. Zungri was charged with shoplifting and released pending a court date.
• At 8:25 a.m., police and fire units responded to an Oakridge Ave. residence on a report of a tree falling onto a house. After observing structural damage resulting from the fallen branch, police contacted the township’s construction code enforcement unit which declared the house unfit for occupancy. PSE&G and the Nutley Water Department cut off utilities and water. Later, police said, the homeowner arranged for a crane and tree firm to remove the branch. Police said the house’s second-floor occupants were evacuated and neighbors on either side of the building were advised to stay away temporarily until code enforcement gave clearance. As a temporary safety move, the traffic division placed barricades at Union and Oakridge Aves. as NFD worked with private firms to clear the damage.
• At 11:05 a.m., police were alerted to the fact that an unknown driver drove over the front lawns of three homes near the intersection of Roosvelt and Walnut Sts., leaving tire marks and causing significant property damage.
• The owner of a vehicle that was parked on Prospect St., between High St. and Vreeland Ave., called police at 2:01 p.m. to report that when they returned to their auto, it was gone.
• A River Road resident called police at 10:26 a.m. to report that someone had thrown two rocks through their vehicle’s front windshield while the car was parked on the east side of the parking lot next to the railroad tracks.
• Someone discarded two white garbage bags loaded with broken beer bottles and beer cans into Booth Park near Florence St., at around 1:30 a.m., police said. It is suspected that individuals who may have been drinking there left their trash behind, police said. The Parks Department was notified of the illegal dumping for cleanup purposes, police said.
• At 9:44 p.m., police were sent to St. Paul’s Place on a report of a suspicious incident. Witnesses told police they were teaching a yoga class in the school portion of the building when they heard a noise inside the building, although the outside door had been locked, and, when they approached the hallway, they spotted a man standing in a doorway about 30 feet away. When the parties made eye contact, the man turned and ran out of the building, the witnesses told police. The intruder was described as a white or Latino male, with black curly hair and a Hawaiian style shirt with neutral colors. Police believe the man gained entry through the church doors, which weren’t fully secured. Police said the building had been previously burglarized but they said they’re not sure if the two incidents are related.
• A report of theft brought police to a Kierstead Ave. residence at 6:06 p.m. Police said a parent told them that their daughter’s scooter had been stolen from in front of the house where the walkway and sidewalk converge. The parent told police they heard a vehicle pull up to the house and saw a female exit the passenger side of the vehicle which was described as an older red and white pickup, possibly a Ford, with lots of items in the truck bed. Several minutes after the truck left, the parent realized that the scooter was missing, police said. The scooter was listed as a silver and green Razor, valued at $120. Police said they checked the surrounding area and found a vehicle matching the description but didn’t find the scooter in the truck. Police said they learned there was another red truck that reportedly drives around in search of scrap. An investigation is continuing, police said.
• At 10:15 a.m., police responded to a Stratford Ave. location on a report of criminal mischief. The owner of a vehicle told police they’d left their car in their parking spot and, up returning, noticed there were scratches to the rear passenger quarter panel. Police, noting that the scratches appeared to be writing of some kind, checked the area and found a blue van with similar scratches.
— Ron Leir