KPD: Arrested in stolen Mercedes

A 2008 Mercedes-Benz parked in the lot near Applebee’s and Burger King on Passaic Ave. at 3 a.m. last Wednesday rightly caught the attention of patrol Officer Ben Wuelfing and resulted in the arrest of a Kearny man on charges of receiving stolen property, KPD Chief John Dowie reported.

After spotting the vehicle, Wuelfing checked its registration and found that it had been reported stolen in Harrison, Dowie said. When backup Officer Dean Gasser and Sgt. Pete Gleason arrived, they blocked in the car and took into custody its occupant, 34-year-old Steven Jackson, who also was allegedly in possession of a Garmin GPS unit and a Visa debit card in the name of a Harrison resident. A search of the Mercedes revealed a backpack, a duffle bag, a suitcase, a ski mask, a bag of jewelry and a receipt from a local pawn shop, police said.

Det. Lt. Anthony Gouveia is conducting a follow-up investigation.

Jackson was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.

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

Dec. 4

At 11 a.m., Officers Dave Rakowski and Cesar Negron responded to a Fish House Road business on a report of men stealing scrap metal — which, police said, is exactly what they found: two men tossing items into a U-Haul truck. The suspects were ordered to unload the truck and, after they complied, the management said it would not press charges. The officers checked the men’s documents and pedigrees and sent them on their way.

However, a subsequent check by Rakowski at headquarters reportedly revealed that one man, whose name had been misspelled on his ID, had two warrants: one from North Bergen and a $20,000 one from Kearny. The suspect, Bernard Brewer, 49, of Jersey City, had been linked to an August 2012 theft of a truck and its contents from a Sanford Ave. business, police said.

On Dec. 8, Sgt. Paul Bershefski and Dets. Mike Gonzalez and John Plaugic took Brewer into custody at a Jersey City residence.

• • •

Officer Daniel Esteves responded to Walmart at 4 p.m. to take into custody Edwin Santos, 29, of Newark, who allegedly had stolen a set of headphones.

Police said a search incident to arrest found him to be in possession of a marijuana cigarette and six prescription painkillers. He was charged on all three offenses.

Dec. 5 

At 9:30 a.m., Officer T.J. Hernandez investigated a report of vandalism at the hockey rink on Passaic Ave. at Afton St. and found it had been defaced with graffiti, including a racial slur, the letters “KKK” and a phallic symbol. The KPD is viewing this as a bias crime, and Det. Marc McCaffrey is conducting an investigation. After documenting the damage, police contacted the Kearny DPW to remove it.

• • •

Officer Brian Wisely responded to the 100 block of Schuyler Ave. at 8 p.m., after a resident notified police that two men had been banging on his door and then had fled across the street into West Hudson Park.

Wisely took the report.

At 9 p.m., the cops were again called to the apartment, where Officer Philip Finch found the 32-year-old occupant “bloody and bruised.”

His assailants were apparently the same two men who had visited earlier. The victim was taken to University Hospital, Newark, for treatment of head injuries.

The KPD is working on the case with Newark police.

Dec. 7 

At 7:15 p.m., Wisely and Esteves responded to a report of a dispute on the 600 block of Elm St., where the male party had allegedly thrown a knife at the female. She was not injured. But Neyrhi Pezez, 22, of Kearny, was charged with aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes and unlawful possession of a weapon.

Dec. 8 

At 1:30 p.m., after a DPW employee reported a “large amount of graffiti” at the Windsor St. playground, Officer Sean Kelly found it defaced with profanities and sexually explicit references. Unlike the bias-related hockey rink vandalism, police said this appeared to be directed specifically at someone who frequents the park. The Juvenile Bureau is investigating.

Dec. 10 

Officer John Travelino arrested Augustin Camacho, 39, of Newark, at Walmart at 6 p.m. for allegedly attempting to steal a cell phone. Camacho was additionally charged on three outstanding warrants: two from Elizabeth and one from Newark.

• • •

At 7:40 p.m., a woman reported that, after she entered her car on the 600 block of Kearny Ave. –and, fortunately, immediately locked it — she had been threatened by a knife-wielding man who had banged on the driver’s-side window and demanded she open the door. She refused and was able to drive away unharmed. The man was described only as heavy-set. He was said to be wearing a hat and had his face partially covered. Police said there were no similar reports in the area.

• • •

Officer Jay Ward responded to an 8:15 p.m. report of an accident at King and Elm Sts. and found that a 2013 Hyundai, operated by Thomas Rowland, 60, of Kearny, had hit a parked Volkswagen. Police said Rowland appeared too intoxicated to perform field sobriety tests. He was subsequently charged with DWI, reckless driving and refusal to submit to an Alcotest, and his car was impounded.

– Karen Zautyk 

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