KPD blotter: Wardrobe dysfunction

An alleged serial shoplifter identified himself to police thanks to his penchant for wearing the same clothing during his Kmart outings, Kearny Police Chief John Dowie reported.

Suspect Jhoan Moncala, 26, of Kearny, is said to have stolen more than $2,500 worth of video games over a period of five days, Dec. 3-7.

KPD Officer Ben Wuelfing, called to the Passaic Ave. store Dec. 6 by security personnel, viewed store tapes and saw a “probable person of interest,” clad in a long-sleeved black shirt.

Det. Scott Traynor, reviewing Wuelfing’s report, also noted that the thief wore camouflage- patterned pants. At headquarters Dec. 7, a suspect arrested for alleged shoplifting that day was sitting in a cell, wearing, Traynor noted, a long-sleeved black shirt and camo pants.

Under questioning, Moncala reportedly admitted to all five theft incidents and was charged with five counts of shoplifting.

Other recent reports from the KPD blotter included the following:

Dec. 7

Officer Cesar Negron was on patrol at Kearny and Oakwood Aves. at 11 a.m. when his automatic license plate reader “hit” on a car apparently operated by someone with a suspended license. The squad car computer indicated the same driver had been arrested in Kearny on Nov. 27 for the same offense. And, the officer confirmed, 57-year-old Jose Hernandez of Newark, also had an outstanding East Newark warrant, police said.

During a search incident to an arrest on the warrant, Hernandez reportedly was found to be in possession of six driver’s licenses and a Pennsylvania firearms ID card, with different names “on virtually every document,” Dowie reported. Along with the MV offense and the warrant, Hernandez was charged with possession of false government documents.

Dec. 8

Officer Luis Moran, responding to Kmart on the report of a shoplifting, found the suspect to be in possession of an insurance identification card in the name of another individual, police said. Anthony Taylor, 24, of East Orange, was charged with shoplifting and theft of property lost or mislaid.

Sgt. John Becker, supervising the KPD’s holiday mall initiative, was travelling between Walmart and the Passaic Ave. district at 3:15 p.m., when he spotted a car with an expired inspection sticker, ran its registration and found that the owner had a suspended license, police said. Becker stopped the car on Harrison Ave. and arrested Kadya Washington, 37, of Jersey City, who reportedly also had outstanding warrants from Union City and Jersey City.

Jersey City police were contacted to take her into their custody.

At 5:15 p.m., Officer Jay Ward was writing a ticket for a vehicle blocking a fire hydrant on Windsor St. when he was approached by the operator, Thiago Silveira, 27, of Kearny, who asked what the cop was doing. Silveira ended up with more than a summons; he was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Hawthorne, police said.

Officers Ben Wuelfing and Jack Corbett responded to a report of a street fight outside a bar on the 400 block of Kearny Ave. at 9:45 p.m. and arrived to find an injured 50-year-old Lyndhurst man. He admitted to being involved, police said, but was uncooperative when asked to identify the person who inflicted the injury. The next day, Lt. Anthony Gouveia reviewed security videos from the area and saw that the victim had been hit with a brick.

The detective developed a probable suspect and complaints may be forthcoming, Dowie said.

Dec. 9

Officer John Fabula, investigating an auto accident near the intersection of Kearny Ave. and Grove St. at 3 p.m., took into custody one of the motorists, Marluce Rangel, 37, of Scranton, Pa., for driving with a suspended license — and on five outstanding warrants: two from West Orange and one each from Fairfield, Newark and Budd Lake, police reported. She was also charged with careless driving and driving while using a cell phone.

At 7:45 p.m., Officer Leroy Bibbs, responded to Walmart, where a mother-daughter team allegedly tried to leave the store with $1,275 worth of unpaid merchandise.

During a search incident to her arrest, Talisha Richard, 43, of Newark, was found to be in possession of a New Jersey driver’s license, a Bank of America card, a Social Security card, a Wells Fargo Visa card and a Costco card, all belonging to an Orange resident, police said. She was charged with shoplifting, conspiracy, theft of property lost or mislaid, and credit card theft.

The daughter, Kaneisha Richard, 22, of Newark, was charged with shoplifting and conspiracy and on an outstanding East Orange warrant.

Dec. 10

At 11 a.m., as a result of an investigation they launched last month, Det. Lt. Gouveia and Det. Bryant Obie arrested 35-year-old Brooklyn resident Saul Carrazana on theft charges related to the reported disappearance of $25,000 worth of liquor from a South Kearny distributor. Police said the company, which contacted the KPD on Nov. 21, believed it had been victimized by its employee over a three-month period.

Based on informaton it had received earlier in the month, the Vice Unit had been conducting surveillance of 28-yearold Kearny resident Juan Castellanos, who was suspected of distributing marijuana from his Schuyler Ave. residence. He was arrested at 4 p.m. at his home, where police reportedly found a large bag of suspected pot and $120 in cash, believed to be the proceeds of drug sales. He was charged with distribution, and distribution in a school zone/park zone.

At 11 p.m., Officer Tom Sumowski responded to a complaint of a disturbance at a Washington Ave. address and reportedly found that 23-yearold Scott Huaman had smashed much of the furniture in the apartment where he had been staying with a relative. He was charged with criminal mischief.

Dec. 11

Officer Tom Pontrella was called to quell a midnight dispute at a Belgrove Drive address and encountered Anthony Joana, 39, of Kearny, on the other side of a locked common entry door. Joana allegedly kicked said door, shattering it, and then made his escape on foot. A criminal-mischief warrant has been issued for his arrest.

–Karen Zautyk

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