Alert cop thwarts alleged burglars

By Karen Zautyk

Three Newark men arrested last week in this township for allegedly burglarizing an auto have been linked to similar crimes in at least three other communities, police reported.
The suspects – Bryan Ervin and Aljir Davis, both 20, and Hakim Jones, 21 – were remanded to the Essex County Jail on $100,000 bail each.
Nutley Det. Anthony Montanari said Officer Ted Reilly was on patrol shortly after 1
a.m. last Wednesday when he observed a car with its interior lights on parked in the lot of a defunct gas station at Union Ave. and Centre St. Walking away from the vehicle was a man, later identified as Davis, carrying a silver case.
The driver, Ervin, when questioned by Reilly, reportedly claimed he had pulled over
to check his GPS to find his way home. Asked why his passenger was out of the vehicle, the explanation was that Davis was trying to find an open gas station, Montanari said,
noting that the two men “were inconsistent with answering questions.”
The third suspect, Jones, was found about a block away on Weston St., a small, residential side street not likely to have a gas station, police noted.
Back-up officers who had arrived at the Union Ave. scene observed a 2008 Dodge
parked nearby with damage to the side door and lock. The interior had been ransacked
and on the front seat there was a large screwdriver that was determined to be the burglary tool, Montanari said.
Inside Davis’ silver case were PlayStation games and other items identified by the Dodge’s owner as having been stolen from the car, police reported.
In addition, the suspects’ vehicle was allegedly found to contain proceeds from other burglaries, including a checkbook stolen in Belleville, ID and a backpack from Rutherford, and a cell phone and camera from Montclair.
On Thursday, Montanari said other items, including cell phones and an iPod Touch,
were still being inventoried and police were attempting to identify where these had
been obtained and what other municipalities may have been targeted.
All three men were charged with burglary, theft and conspiracy. Davis, who reportedly
gave a phony name when initially questioned, has also been charged with hindering
Police Chief John Holland commended Officer Reilly as “an exemplary officer who
took the initiative to stop and investigate, which led to the apprehension of three felons . . . and disrupted their operation.”

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