Cops get to the ‘meat’ of the matter

Another relatively routine arrest on an outstanding warrant led Kearny cops to uncover a more serious crime, this one involving stolen meat slicers, Police Chief John Dowie reported.

Apparently, there’s a market for everything.

This saga started at 6 p.m., Nov. 19, at Kearny and Locust Aves., where Dets. Scott Traynor and Michael Farinola apprehended 48-year-old David Murphy of Kearny on an active warrant out of Sparta, Dowie said.

Subsequently, police learned that Murphy had conducted a recent transaction at a local pawn shop. The item sold to the shop was a brand-new meat slicer, still in the box, for which Murphy reportedly received a “minimal amount of money,” although it had a manufacturer’s list price of $1,300, police said.

Investigators also learned that Murphy was employed by a South Kearny company that is the sole supplier for that particular make and model of slicer — and that, on five separate occasions, he had sold slicers or meat grinders to the same shop, Dowie reported.

Murphy, rearrested Nov. 21, reportedly admitted that he and another employee, not yet identified, had a scheme whereby they would secrete the devices on company property, then return after hours to remove them. He has now been charged with theft. The investigation is continuing.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Nov. 21

At 1:15 p.m., Officer Steve Hroncich and Sgt. Paul Bershefski responded to Walmart, where one customer had allegedly threatened another with a pair of scissors. Neither the alleged assailant (female) nor the victim (male) was cooperative with the cops, but a review of the store’s security tapes showed the two engaged in a verbal altercation and the woman then threatening the man with scissors she had removed from a counter, police said. According to the report, the two were complete strangers. Apparently this was a case of “shopping rage.”

Toni Jones, 35, of Newark, was charged with aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes.

At 3 p.m., at Kearny and Garfield Aves., Officer John Fabula stopped a motorist for simultaneous violations, including running a crosswalk as pedestrians were attempting to cross and while she was talking on a cell phone, police said.

As Fabula approached the car, the driver, a reportedly “very irate” Glenia Dasilva, 47, of Rutherford, began waving three traffic tickets out the window. (Editor’s note: Why she did so is not known, but it proved very helpful to the police.)

Examining the summonses, the officer found they had been written in Lyndhurst within the previous hour for using a phone while driving, driving without a license and driving with a suspended license, police said. Dasilva was arrested, taken to headquarters and charged in Kearny with driving with a suspended license, failure to yield to pedestrians, and a driving/cell phone-yapping offense.

At 5 p.m., Vice detectives arrested a motorist, Richard Zulla, 25, of North Arlington, at Beech St. and the Belleville Pike after confirming his driver’s license was suspended, police said. During a search incident to the arrest, Zulla was allegedly found to be in possession of a cellophane wrapper containing suspected marijuana. He was charged on the MV violation and with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

Nov. 25

Officer Luis Moran responded to Walmart at 3:30 p.m. on a report of a customer attempting to pass bad checks. The individual also tried to pass himself off as a Newark PD special officer, police said. The suspect, Anthony Jenkins, 48, of Belleville, was reportedly in possession of 11 checks, six of which had been used to try to purchase electronics. According to police, Jenkins admitted he had printed the checks himself on a home computer using a different name. He allegedly was also in possession of a burnt glass pipe, a vial of suspected crack, and a Newark PD special officer’s badge.

Newark police were contacted and confirmed that Jenkins was not, and never had been, on their force, Dowie said.

Jenkins now faces nine charges: impersonating an officer; theft of mislaid property (the badge, which he claimed to have found); passing bad checks; identity theft; forgery; uttering; possession of forgery devices; possession of a CDS, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His bail was set at $10,000, and he was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.

Continuing with the Walmart theme: Officer Ben Wuelfing went to the store at 6 p.m. after a customer was reported trying to make purchases with counterfeit $20 bills. An examination of the currency showed that it lacked certain security features and that multiple bills had the same serial number, police said. The suspect, Rosalia Campusano, 28, of Newark, was charged with forgery and criminal attempt to commit a theft. The Secret Service was contacted to do a follow-up investigation.

– Karen Zautyk

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