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Notes from the KPD blotter

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Regular readers of the Kearny police blotter know that the week’s entries would not be complete without a shoplifting incident at Walmart. This week, there are two, each of particular note.

The first occurred at 3:30 p.m. July 7, when an alleged shoplifter, confronted by store security, fled in a car, dragging one of the guards after it for some distance, police said. The guard, who reportedly was not injured, got the plate number, which was given to the KPD.

As soon as Officer John Fabula, driving on Bergen Ave., entered the information into a license plate database, he saw the auto in question pass by, heading in the opposite direction. He alerted other units, and the vehicle was again immediately spotted, this time by Officer Sean Kelly at Bergen and Schuyler Aves.

Kelly gave chase, bringing the car to a halt at Ivy and King Sts., where he arrested driver Pablito Santiago, 30, of Newark, who was charged with robbery, aggravated assault and weapons possession, the weapon being the car. Santiago was later transported to the Hudson County Jail.

On July 8, at 11:30 a.m., Det. Michael Gonzalez and Lt. Tim Wagner were conducting surveillance in the Walmart lot, where “an increasing number” of vehicle burglaries had been reported, Chief John Dowie said.

The officers saw a man picking up discarded receipts and “trolling” the lot, looking into parked cars, Dowie said. Donning sunglasses and a hat, the man entered the store, where he reportedly was seen examining the receipts and then removing from the shelves certain specific items: car floor mats, a thermos, baby formula and Pampers. These he placed in a Walmart bag that he had stashed in his pocket, police said.

The “shopper” then took the items to the returns counter, presented the receipts and received $49 in cash and a $25 gift card, using the latter to purchase cigarettes, police said.

The suspect, Christian Garcia, 36, of Kearny, was arrested and searched, and was allegedly found to be in possession of a PNC Visa card, bearing a woman’s name, and papers with two additional credit card numbers.

Garcia was charged with shoplifting, credit card theft and possession of burglar tools.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

July 3 

Officer Frank West, on patrol at Bergen Ave. and Maple St. at 5:10 p.m., was flagged down by a woman who said she had just encountered three suspicious individuals in the alley next to her home on the 200 block of Maple.

West broadcast their description and direction of flight, east on Bergen, and they were spotted and detained at Bergen and Devon St. by Officers Pat Becker and Jordenson Jean and Det. Mike Andrews.

Meanwhile, West discovered that there had been an attempt to enter the woman’s home via a window. He brought the victim to Devon St., where she identified the suspects, police said.

Charged with conspiracy and burglary was Daniel Tammaro, 19, of Kearny. Albin Niedzielski, 19, of Brick, and a 14-year-old Newark male were charged with conspiracy to commit burglary.

July 4 

Officer Daniel Esteves, at Passaic and Johnston Aves. at 5 p.m., was alerted by his mobile computer that a passing Acura had an expired registration and that its owner had a suspended license. Driver/ owner Domenick Nieves, 33, of Newark was charged on both counts and his car was impounded.

 July 9 

At 5:20 a.m., Officers Tom Sumowski and Tom Pontrella and Sgt. John Becker responded to a disturbance at Ross Lane and Passaic Ave. and found Felix Lopez, 20, of Kearny, reportedly intoxicated and “acting out.”

Lopez was allowed to go back to his domicile, but shortly afterward, police said, he was reported outside again. The cops returned and this time arrested him for disorderly conduct and underage possession of alcohol.

At 10 a.m., the operator of a tavern on the 300 block of Kearny Ave. found that the premises had apparently been entered overnight and money was missing. Officer Jose Canela took the initial report, and Det. Anthony Gouveia is conducting the follow-up investigation.

At 8:20 p.m., the Vice Unit, having information that a Kearny man was in possession of marijuana, stopped his car at Belgrove Drive and Sheridan Ave. and recovered from his person a plastic bag of suspected pot, police said.

Michael Echevestre, 23, was charged with possession of the drug and drug paraphernalia and operating a motor vehicle in possession of a CDS.

 July 10 

Officers Peter Jahera and Cesar Negron responded to Walmart at 8:30 a.m. on a report of a man using counterfeit money. Police said Rakeen Gourdine, 34, of Jersey City was found to be in possession of $460 in counterfeit $20 bills and $140 in $10s, as well as a debit card belonging to someone else. Police said the fake money was readily identifiable, since many of the bills bore the same serial number. Gourdine was charged with forgery [a separate charge of lousy forgery not being available], theft by deception and theft of property lost or mislaid. Police said he also had outstanding warrants from Jersey City, Annandale, Bridgewater and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.

–Karen Zautyk 

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