News from the Kearny Police blotter

Last week’s Kearny Police Department blotter contained yet another reminder to residents to lock their cars when they park. This week, Chief John Dowie would like to remind them to also turn off their vehicles.

At around 9 p.m. on Aug. 27, police said, a 30-year-old Kearny man parked his 2005 Infiniti on Kearny Ave. near Dukes St., leaving it unlocked – and with the motor running – while he went on a personal errand. He returned to find the Infiniti heading north on the avenue. It was last seen making a left on Patterson St.

In addition to the car, the thief got a bonus, the owner’s wallet, which had been left in the car.

Police searched the area but could not find the Infiniti. It has been entered into the National Crime Information Center database as a stolen vehicle.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Aug. 22

At 4:45 p.m., the Vice Squad observed an individual they described as a known offender apparently engaging in a drug transaction on Woodland Ave. They stopped his car at Kearny Ave., but when they exited their own vehicle, he “took off at a high rate of speed,” heading to Devon St., back to Woodland and then to Chestnut St., discarding two plastic bags along the way, police said. These were found and reportedly contained marijuana.

Patrol units converged on the area, and the suspect’s car was stopped by Sgt. Charles Smith on Kearny Ave. near Grove St. Police said the man refused to get out, had to be removed forcibly and was wrestled to the ground.

Arrested was 26-year-old Kearny resident Piero Duilio- Soto, charged with: eluding police; resisting arrest; hindering apprehension; possession of pot; possession of paraphernalia; reckless driving, and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of a CDS.

At 9 p.m., Vice was back on the road and had under surveillance another man known to them, parked in a secluded area near Clark St. When he exited the vehicle and the officers approached to interview him, he began “fiddling with the gas cap,” apparently attempting to conceal a plastic bag. In the vehicle, police said, they found a plastic shopping bag containing four “pillowsized” plastic bags filled with marijuana.

Richard Mohammed, 27, of Jamaica, Queens, was arrested and charged with: possession of more than 50 grams of the drug; possession with intent to distribute; possession/intent in a school zone and within 500 feet of a playground, and possession of a CDS while operating a motor vehicle.

Aug. 23

Officer Ben Wuelfing was on patrol at 11 p.m. when he spotted a large, disorderly group at Kearny Ave. and Afton St. Stopping to disperse them, he saw a teenage boy dump a beverage, and then its bottle, on the ground and detected the odor of alcohol, police said.

The boy produced I.D., showing he was 16, but when Wuelfing tried to take him into custody, he fled on foot, police said. The officer, back in his car, stopped the teen at Kearny and Bergen Aves., but the kid began to fight, Wuelfing was knocked to the ground, and the teen fled again, police reported. But the officer found his suspect, on Chestnut St. behind Mandee’s.

The juvenile, a Kearny resident, was charged, not only with underage possession of alcohol, but also hindering apprehension, resisting arrest, and aggravated assault on a police officer.

Wuelfing, who suffered scrapes and abrasions, was treated at Clara Maass Medical Center and was released.

Aug. 24

At 4:30 p.m., headquarters notified patrol units that a car carrying suspected shoplifters had just fled from the Street Smart store on Passaic Ave. Officer Jose Resua spotted it and stopped it at Bergen Ave. and Belgrove Drive. Its two female occupants denied any knowledge of shoplifting, but police said a stolen necklace was found in a purse and the other store items – another necklace and a bodysuit – were found under the passenger seat. Charged with shoplifting was Cynthia Guzman, 25, of Newark.

Officer Malinda Esposito responded to Walmart at 5:30 p.m. after security reported finding in the store a purse “loaded with marijuana,” and also containing a scale. While the officer was there, a woman appeared and attempted to claim the purse. Informed of what it contained and asked for an explanation, police said she implicated her boyfriend. Confronted by Esposito and Sgt. Mike Ryan, 43-year-old Antoin Searles of Newark reportedly admitted he had secreted it all in the bag. He was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute.

Aug. 26

Officer Chris Medina was on patrol at Kearny and Woodland Aves. at 2:20 a.m. when he observed a car, being driven erratically, make an illegal right on red. Stopping it, he reportedly detected the odor of alcohol, and police said the motorist failed the field sobriety tests.

Lindon Leon, 49, of Kearny, was charged with: DWI; DWI in a school zone; driving with a suspended license; careless driving; and refusing an Alcotest. Police said that because there were suspicions Leon was here illegally, U.S. Immigration was notified and will investigate.

At Quincy Ave. and Chestnut St. at 6:15 p.m., Vice officers reported witnessing an individual they knew to be under age consuming a Four Loko. The young man’s companion was also known to them – as being the subject of several arrest warrants.

The alleged Loko-liker, identified as Kevin Smith, 19, of Kearny, was charged with underage possession of alcohol and drinking in public. A pot-possession charge was added when he was allegedly found to have the drug on him.

Dominik Assis, also 19, and with addresses in Kearny and Belleville, was arrested on a parole-violation warrant issued by the State of New Jersey, a stolen-property warrant from Kearny, and a North Arlington warrant.

Aug. 27

A fairly routine theft report at 3:15 a.m. turned into much, much more after Officer Mike Santucci, with Officer Ben Wuelfing as backup, responded to Walmart, where security reported that two individuals previously suspected of shoplifting had returned to the store and were cutting open packages. When the cops arrived, security was attempting to detain the suspects in the lobby and the officers were warned that the pair were both thought to have knives. A search proved they did, police said.

Santucci also found one of them to have an altered Bic pen containing two vials of suspected cocaine, police said. Wuelfing reportedly found one possessing a small plastic bag containing suspected pot, another bag with 10 Xanax pills, and $800 in cash.

Since both suspects apparently were under the influence of drugs, and since Walmart did not want their car (found in the lot by Officer Chris Medina) left on its property, a tow truck was called.

The police, taking an inventory of the vehicle prior to its being impounded, said they found in the glove compartment a .357 Magnum – loaded with hollow-point bullets. They said it had been reported stolen in North Carolina.

Both Steven Bertucci, 21, of Verona, and Ferdinand Ortiz, 19, of Newark, were charged with: shoplifting; possession of a CDS; possession with intent to distribute; conspiracy; possession of a firearm; possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of hollow-point ammo.

At 4:30 p.m., at Woodland and Highland Aves., the Vice Squad spotted Jayme Diaz- Cobo, 22, of Kearny, whom they knew to be wanted on a Lyndhurst warrant. Police said Diaz-Cobo took flight, running into the vestibule of a nearby building and slamming the door, several times, on one officer’s arm – injuring the cop and damaging the door.

The suspect then fled into an alley leading to the backyard and began jumping fences. Patrol units were called to form a containment perimeter, and Diaz-Cobo was located in a John St. backyard by Det. Neil Nelson and Officer Jack Corbett.

Diaz-Cobo was arrested on the warrant and additionally charged with resisting arrest and aggravated assault on a police officer.

– Karen Zautyk

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