Highlights from the Harrison police blotter

July 29

At 1:08 p.m., police were dispatched to a residence on the 100 block of Grant Ave. on a report of a burglary.

The occupant told police she’d left home at about 9:15 a.m. and after returning in the afternoon, found the front door unlocked and the basement rear door broken, a window-sized exhaust fan in the door pushed in and a metal bar removed from the window.

She said the intruder ransacked a downstairs bedroom and removed five Fossil watches and a checkbook or debit card, ransacked a first-floor bedroom and took an 18-carat gold chain bracelet, an 18-carat gold plain finished ring with a small diamond set on it, an 18-carat gold wedding band with three diamonds inlaid, an 18-carat gold three chain bracelet, an 18-carat gold Omega watch and a 36-inch Sony flat panel TV.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to call the Detective Bureau at 973-483-4100.

July 30
A woman walked into headquarters and reported she was robbed on Harrison Ave. at the foot of the Bridge St. Bridge.

The woman told police she was walking home to Newark, at 3:45 p.m., along Harrison Ave. and was talking on her cellular phone as she approached the bridge when she was approached from behind by an individual who snatched her white Galaxy 4 phone with a pink cover – scratching her face in the process – and ran east on Harrison, then onto Dey St. where she lost sight of him.
She described the culprit as a slim black male between 18 and 20, with braided hair, wearing a red shirt and dark shorts. She said was he was in the company of another black male when her phone was grabbed. Police said the woman recalled seeing the suspect at her workplace, a fast food business, earlier in the day.

Police are reviewing footage from the town’s CCTV cameras for possible clues. Anyone with information is asked to call the Detective Bureau at 973-483-4100.

Aug. 1
At 7:31 p.m., police responded to Hamilton and N. Fifth Sts. On a report of two males fighting in the street. When officers arrived, police said they observed the pair separating in the middle of the intersection.

One, later identified as Miguel Montoya, 24, of Harrison, wearing a ripped white T-shirt with blood around the collar and shoulder area, entered the front passenger side door of a grey 2008 VW Jetta which was parked on N. Fifth St. facing north.

At the same time, police said, the other man, later identified as Jose Mendes, 29, of Harrison, quickly walked west on Hamilton on the north side of the sidewalk while discarding an unknown number of small objects on the street between parked cars.

A search of the area near 430 Hamilton where officers saw Mendes toss the objects disclosed two glassine wax envelopes stamped “RiteAid” in red containing suspected heroin, police said. An additional glassine wax envelope, also stamped “RiteAid” and also containing suspected heroin, was found on Mendes, police said. Mendes was charged with possession of drugs, possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school and simple assault.

Police said they found two large clear plastic sandwich bags containing a white powdery substance believed to be cocaine in a search of Montoya who was also charged with simple assault, possession of drugs and possession with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school.

Aug. 2
At 12:31 a.m., police were sent to the 300 block of John St. on a report of criminal mischief to a vehicle. The vehicle’s owner told police that she’d parked the vehicle at 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 1 and that when she came out at 12:30 a.m. to move the car, she noticed that the rear driver’s side window had been smashed out and the ignition damaged. Police said the ignition had been popped out and observed pieces of a brick strewn throughout the front driver’s and passenger’s seat. Nothing was reported missing, police said.

At 9:30 p.m., police went to Hamilton and N. Second Sts. on a report of an intoxicated male sitting in a black Kia. Upon arrival, police said they saw the Kia parked on Grant Ave. with the driver’s side door open and a Latino man, later identified as Marco Valdivia, 51, of East Newark, sitting in the driver’s seat with the key in the ignition and radio playing. After the officer identified himself, police said Valdivia immediately put down a small can of Coors Light beer. Valdivia was charged with DWI. – Ron Leir

Learn more about the writer ...

Editor & Broadcaster at 

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.