Shoplifter had taste for fine wine: NPD blotter

A thief with a craving for the classic vino got away with a $1,900 bottle of wine from a Nutley liquor store last Tuesday, Oct. 28.

Police said that a man described as either a light-skinned black or Hispanic, about 6 feet-four, more than 200 pounds, wearing a grey sweatshirt with a dark colored vest, light colored cap, black shoes, Bluetooth headset on his right ear, possibly having keys hanging on a front right belt loop, and possibly driving a black Land Rover, entered the Franklin Ave. shop at 8:21 p.m. and asked the manager if he could check out some of the better wines.

He was shown one selling for $500 which he placed back on the shelf and then began looking at even more expensive brands, police said.

At some point, police said, the manager went to check on something and, when he returned, the customer was gone, along with a bottle of 2005 Chateau Haut Brion, Pessac-Leognan, France valued at $1,900 kept in a cabinet with expensive wines.

A store surveillance system captured an image of the alleged shoplifter.

Detectives are investigating.

Police are asking anyone who may know the identity of the man in the photo to call them at 973-284-4940.

In a separate incident, during the early morning hours on Oct. 29, an officer on patrol observed a 2006 Chevrolet with its engine running on the 300 block of Walnut St. and stopped to investigate.

Inside, police said, the officer discovered Melvin Roman, 24, of Hopatcong, allegedly under the influence of synthetic marijuana, with his girlfriend, Ann Montalvo, 25, of Newark.

Police said the officer also found, inside the car, 11 GPS units. Detectives later determined that three of the units were reported stolen out of two vehicles on Highfield Lane and one on Edgewood Ave., both in Nutley.

Investigation further determined that the units had been in Linden, Elizabeth, Westfield and Clark but police said Roman told them he was only targeting for entry vehicles in Garwood and Nutley.

Roman and Montalvo were each charged with possession of CDS and burglary to autos. Roman was held in Essex County Jail on $25,000 bail while Montalvo was released, both pending court appearances.

Between Oct. 26 and Oct. 30, Nutley PD also responded to 10 “suspicious” incidents, 19 motor vehicle accidents, 15 disputes and the following incidents:

Oct. 26 

A Passaic Ave. resident reported an apparent fraud, stemming from having misplaced their credit card. When the resident tried to cancel their account, they found an unauthorized charge of more than $100 from the Extra Supermarket in Newark. The account was subsequently canceled.

Oct. 27 

An Oakridge Ave. resident complained they were getting harassing phone calls during the past several weeks, all from the same number from someone who called himself “Steve,” seeking access to the family’s home computer to address a problem with the Windows program. The resident said that three calls came that night, with the last one being verbally abusive.


Police said a Hawthorne Ave. resident was an apparent victim of identity theft. After reporting the loss of their Visa debit card to the bank, the resident discovered that there were three unauthorized charges made to the card totaling about $120. Two other transactions were declined, they said.

Oct. 28 

Police said a case of an apparently mistaken address left a local resident without a delivery. The resident told police they’d ordered two coats, valued at $990, from Bloomingdales for shipment to Nutley but UPS allegedly delivered the shipment to the wrong address and, when the driver returned to retrieve the packages, they weren’t there.


The victim of an identity theft told police that someone had used their debit/credit card to make four unauthorized transactions in Lyndhurst and Hoboken totaling more than $300. Police said the card, which was inadvertently left at a local store, has been canceled.


A Centre St. resident reported that a female was observed having keyed and kicked their car, leaving scratches and dents on the rear passenger side quarter panel, along with key marks to the truck and a large dent on the rear driver’s side quarter panel and key marks on the entire driver’s side.

Oct. 29 

Someone threw a rock at a Harrison St. resident’s vehicle, breaking the rear windshield. Police noticed a large rock on the ground under the car window and the point of impact on the windshield the size of the rock.

Oct. 30 

Residents told police that someone in Texas had cashed a check for $13,980 from their savings account and that their bank had advised them the check was fraudulent.

– Ron Leir 

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