Suspected armed robbers caught in Nutley

Shortly after 9 p.m. Sunday, July 14, police responded to Park Drive on a report of an armed robbery.

The victim told officers he was walking with a friend when they were approached by two males, one of whom said: “What’s up?” Then, the victim said, he was put in a headlock and one of the men put a knife to his throat while going through his pockets.

His assailant removed $12 and a pack of cigarettes and the pair then fled in a red vehicle, the victim told police.

Police said an investigation resulted in the subsequent arrest – about an hour after the incident – of Darren Campos, 18, of Nutley, and a 17-yearold Nutley juvenile on Passaic Ave., based on the victim’s description of his attackers.

Police said the victim positively identified both suspects as the individuals who had accosted him earlier. Police said no weapon was found on either of the suspects.

Campos was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and the juvenile was charged with robbery, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose.

Bail for Campos was set at $100,000 with no 10% cash option and he was transported to the Essex County Jail. The juvenile was taken to the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center pending a juvenile hearing.

Eight days prior to the robbery incident, police said they responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a Harrison St. residence. The Saturday, July 6 incident was logged at 9:49 a.m.

Upon arrival, police said that it appeared that the front door had been kicked open.

The occupant told police that they were asleep in their second-floor bedroom when the bedroom door was pushed open. Looking up, they spotted a man standing in front of their dresser with his back toward them.

When the occupant asked the man what he was doing, the intruder turned around and said he was in the wrong house and ran out, police said.

Police searched the area without success. Police said the occupant described the intruder as white, bald, in his 20s or 30s, about 5-feet-nine, thin, with no shirt, wearing tan khaki cargo shorts, and possibly having tatoos.

Within 48 hours, following an investigation by detectives, police said they had identified a suspect whom they apprehended early Tuesday, July 9. He was identified as Brian Blozen, 38, of Bloomfield, and was charged with burglary and criminal mischief. Bail was set at $50,000 with a 10% cash option.

During the morning hours on July 8, police received three reports of criminal mischief, two involving homes and one, a motor vehicle. A Raymond Ave. homeowner called police at 1:20 a.m. to report that someone threw a rock through a side window. At 10:24 a.m., police were called to a Carlton Terrace house where they found one window broken and the outer screen with a hole in it. The owner told police the incident may have happened during the early morning. And, at 9:42 a.m., police were called to a Highland Ave. location where the owner of a vehicle parked on the block told them someone smashed the rear passenger side window and officers found a hammer under the rear of the vehicle.

– Ron Leir

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