KPD: A formula for crime

If you see the gentleman in the photo accompanying this week’s blotter — particularly if you see him in the babyfood aisle — you might give the Kearny police a call. They would like to chat with him.

The man in the mugshot is Danny Morales, 36, of Newark, who has made two prior appearances in the KPD blotter this month. On Oct. 2, he was charged with shoplifting $88 worth of Enfamil from Walmart. On Oct. 14, he allegedly stole $80 worth of the baby formula from the same store and was again arrested.

On Oct. 17, the KPD had, concidentally, their 17th encounter with Morales, Chief John Dowie reported. Officer John Travelino was called to Walmart at 7:15 p.m. and took into custody the same suspect, this time for allegedly shoplifting four Enfamil cans, worth $63. Morales was charged and released on a summons, only to return to Walmart on Oct. 20 and allegedly steal four more cans.

Officer Daniel Esteves responded to that 7 p.m. report and was told by loss prevention that this time Morales had pushed one of the security officers and fled through the parking lot. That push elevates simple theft to a charge of robbery.

Det. Scott Traynor is handling the case, and a robbery warrant has been issued.

In case you’re wondering about the strange affinity for baby formula, it apparently is readily fenced to certain smaller stores for cash.

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Other recent reports from the Kearny police blotter included the following:

Oct. 16 

Officer Jose Resua took a 6 p.m. report of a 2002 Jeep having been stolen from the 100 block of Windsor St. After a review of security videotapes and further investigation, Officer John Fabula and Det. Michael Gonzalez developed as a suspect Douglas Welfl, 29, of Kearny. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on charges of burglary and theft.


At 7:30 p.m., Vice Squad detectives observed Ernesto Rosabal, 47, of Kearny riding a bike at Chestnut and Boyd Sts. with what appeared to be a capped hypodermic needle protruding from his sock. After this was confirmed, police said, a search incident to arrest produced seven folds of suspected heroin, stamped “No Good Deed,” and a bag of suspected cocaine. He was charged with possession of the needle, the drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Oct. 19 

Officers Tom Pontrella and Tom Floyd responded to a 10:30 p.m. report of of an armed assault at an Exxon station on the Lincoln Highway in South Kearny. The victims, two truckers from Texas, said they had been sleeping in the cab of their vehicle when they were awakened by a gunman who ordered them to get out and lie face down on the ground. After striking one of the truckers on the head with the gun, the assailant fled, taking with him only the keys to the vehicle. The victim was treated at St. Michael’s Medical Center and was released. Det. Ray Lopez is investigating the case.

Oct. 20 

Officers Glenn Reed and Jay Balogh, patrolling in South Kearny at 11:30 p.m., pulled over a 2004 Lexus that ran a stop sign at Rts. 1/9 and Hackensack Ave. Motorist Keith Rodriguez, 23, of Jersey City, was charged with that offense and driving with a suspended license.

Oct. 21 

At 4 p.m., a teenager reportedly stole a tip jar from the counter of a cafe on the 100 block of Kearny Ave., struck the proprietor and fled on foot, pursued by the cafe owner and a good Samaritan. They chased him to Patterson St., where he escaped by climbing onto a garage roof and jumping off the other side, police said.

Detectives canvassed the area, recovering the jar, viewed security videos and identified as a probable suspect a 17-year-old from Newark.

Police said he was the same youth recently apprehended for trespassing in yards on Ivy St. and for possession of a weapon, a knife, outside Kearny High School.

At 9 p.m., police said, the teen returned to the scene of the theft, where he was arrested by Det. Ray Lopez on a robbery charge and a Hudson County Family Court warrant. He was remanded to the county Juvenile Detention Center.

Oct. 22 

Shortly after midnight, Officers Frank West, Ben Wuelfing and Chris Medina were called to the 100 block of Brighton Ave. on a report of two suspicious individuals, who were then spotted near Liberty St. One managed to flee, but the second, who identified himself as Jason Bryan, 27, of Newark, was detained — and arrested after a warrant check showed Bryan was wanted by Newark.

The detainee turned out not to be Bryan at all. A fingerprint check at headquarters showed he was Anthony Booker, 27, of Newark, himself the subject of three warrants: two from Newark, one from Essex County.

Booker was charged on those and with hindering apprehension and was held for the Essex County Sheriff ’s Office.


Officer Rich Carbone, on patrol at 9:30 p.m., saw a 2003 Nissan — with no front license plate — speeding west on Quincy Ave. at Devon St. Stopping it at Devon and Bergen Ave., he reportedly detected the odor of marijuana and observed in the car a partially smoked joint, a pipe and a marijuana grinder.

Driver Yannick Benavides, 19, of Kearny, was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia and was issued summonses for careless driving, being an unlicensed driver, the missing plate and possession of a CDS in a motor vehicle.

–Karen Zautyk 

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