Scary welcome to New Year’s

Police are investigating a carjacking incident that took place on the Harrison border of West Hudson Park on New Year’s Day.

Police said they were called to the 600 block of Central Ave. at 9:11 p.m. on Jan. 1 on a report of an armed robbery.

The victim told officers he was talking to a friend on his cell phone while sitting in his 2006 Pontiac GTO in a Central Ave. parking lot, west of Kingsland Ave., with the driver’s door open, and the engine running, when he heard a voice say, “Get out of the car!”

He then felt an object pressed against his head and a man ordered him out of the car. As he did so, the holdup man pulled the victim’s jacket over his head and ordered him to lie on the ground with his hands over his head.

The suspect then directed a second man to check the victim’s pockets and his partner removed $200 and four New Jersey Lottery tickets. The holdup man then turned the victim over onto his back while his partner continued to search him.

The victim could now see that the holdup man was armed with a shiny gray handgun, possibly a semi-automatic, which was pointed at him.

The holdup man then moved the victim to the front of the car and ordered him to lie on the ground. Both the armed man and his partner then jumped into the GTO and sped away south on Kingsland Ave.

As the incident unfolded, the victim’s friend could hear bits of the comments made by the holdup man on his end of the cell phone until the connection was lost. The friend told police he tried to call back, but the call immediately went to voice mail.

Police described the man with the gun as a light-skinned Latino, 5 feet-6, about 25, wearing a dark hoodie, baseball cap, with a mustache, light beard or goatee. His partner was listed as Latino, wearing a dark-colored hoodie.

Police broadcast a statewide alert about the carjacking and an investigation is continuing.

Here’s an accounting of other recent criminal incidents in Harrison:

Jan. 3

A 2008 Chevrolet was “keyed” while it was parked on the 800 block of Hamilton St. overnight.

Tanza Singletary, 21, of New York, was arrested for allegedly shoplifting a $1.29 package of cookies from a Bergen Mall business. He was also charged with hindering apprehension before being released on a summons.

Jose Rodriguez, 38, of Newark, was arrested for shoplifting 12 cans of Red Bull from a Harrison Ave. store. Rodriguez was given a summons and released.

Jan. 2

Rocco Spinelli, 52, of Newark was arrested outside Popeye’s restaurant on Passaic Ave. on a drug offense warrant issued by Wall Township. Spinelli was subsequently released by Wall Township on his own recognizance with a new court date.

A 1999 Honda Civic was stolen from the 300 block of Essex St. sometime between Dec. 28 and Jan. 2.

Jan. 1

Someone smashed the window of a 2000 Ford Explorer while it was parked overnight on the 200 block of Warren St. and ransacked the interior. The owner couldn’t determine whether anything had been taken.

An Ohio resident’s 1998 Honda Civic was stolen from the 300 block of Essex St. Dec. 31 A postal delivery that was left at a Franklin Ave. residence was reported stolen. A resident’s bank account information was obtained and $8.99 was illegally withdrawn from the account via a bank in Denver, Col. A Pennsylvania resident’s 2000 Honda Civic was reported stolen from the municipal parking lot at Frank Rodgers Blvd. and Essex St.

Dec. 29

A Warren St. residence was burglarized when a rear entry to a basement apartment was forced open. Musical recording equipment was reported stolen from the apartment.

— Ron Leir

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