Burglaries top KPD blotter news

Kearny police are on the hunt for a man who allegedly burglarized two Kearny Ave. businesses in the overnight hours of Aug. 19-20: the BP gas station at Linden Ave. and Woodland Auto Repair at Woodland Ave.

In each instance, the perp gained entry by removing the lock cylinder from the front door.

A minimal amount of cash was stolen — $120 from BP, $100 from Woodland Auto — but the thief also absconded with items of greater value: computerized devices used in auto repairs and maintenance. Also taken were a number of state-issued inspection stickers.

The KPD has obtained security videos of the burglar in action, and Dets. Bryant Obie and Michael Gonzalez are conducting the follow-up investigation.

• • •

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

Aug. 13 

At 4:15 p.m., Vice detectives said they observed Bernie Matos Jr., 22, of Harrison sitting on the steps of a Johnston Ave. residence apparently attempting to conceal a handrolled cigar. Approached by the officers, he reportedly turned over the cigar and a plastic bag of marijuana. He was charged with possession of the drug and drug paraphernalia.

Aug. 14 

Sgt. Brian Wisely, on patrol at Kearny and Locust Aves. at 1:30 p.m., observed a 2013 Jeep travelling in an erratic manner, its driver looking like he was falling asleep at the wheel, police said. When Wisely, with Officer Ben Wuelfing as backup, stopped the vehicle, he observed a cap for a hypodermic needle on the floor, and the complete needle was later found on the passenger side, police said. Driver Matthew Muscarella, 32, of North Arlington, reportedly had trouble standing when he was removed from the Jeep and was arrested after field sobriety tests. He was charged with driving under the influence of a CDS, careless driving, driving with a suspended license and possession of the needle.

Aug. 18 

Shortly after midnight, Officers Tom Pontrella and Leroy Bibbs responded to a complaint about a problem customer at QuickChek on Kearny Ave., advised the man — Sidnei Antunes, 29, of Kearny — several times to leave the premises, and when he reportedly refused and became combative, arrested him and charged him with disorderly conduct.

• • •

At 1 p.m., on the 600 block of Elm St., Vice detectives said they observed Xavier Moya, 24, of Newark, whom they knew to have a warrant from the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office. He was arrested on same, taken to headquarters and for the HCSO.

• • •

Another wanted man, Kevin Smith, 21, of Kearny, was taken into custody by Vice at 3 p.m. at Forest St. and Midland Ave. on warrants from Harrison and Union, and those jurisdictions were notified.

• • •

Shortly after 3 p.m., Officers Wuelfing and Chris Levchak were called to Walmart on the report of a disorderly customer who had a dispute with management over a money order, police said. The officers calmed the man, Richard Mc- Bride, 30, of Newark, and escorted him from the store, but in the lot he reportedly began screaming profanities. He was then arrested and charged wtih disorderly conduct.

• • •

A concerned citizen alerted police at 6:30 p.m. to a man on a bicycle at Lindsay Lane (Google it) and Bergen Ave. who appeared to be taking items from his pockets and putting them in a bag. Due to the proximity to several stores, the caller suspected shoplifting.

Det. Ray Lopez located the cyclist riding south on Belgrove Drive and reportedly found him to be in possession of several packages of razors, shower gels and deodorants. Eric Warren, 48, of Newark, was detained at the scene while KPD officers went to the Deals store on Passaic Ave., viewed security video where they said they observed Warren stealing the items, police said.

When he was taken into custody, Warren allegedly gave a different name, Tariq Watson, but a fingerprint check at HQ revealed his true identity—along with outstanding warrants from Kearny, Harrison, Newark and the Essex County Sheriff’s Office.

Warren was charged on those and with shoplifting and hindering apprehension. He was held for pickup by the ECSO or transfer to the Hudson County Jail.

Aug. 19 

At 2:30 p.m., Vice confronted Nicholas Hess, 37, of Kearny, at Johnston Ave. and Devon St. with their knowledge of an earlier drug transaction, police said. Hess reportedly turned over a bag of marijuana and was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia.

• • •

Det. Gonzalez, investigating a rash of Aug. 17 overnight car burglaries in the area of Liberty and Maple Sts., developed as a suspect Jeremy Postal, 18, of Newark, who came to KPD headquarters when he learned of a warrant against him. Postal was not charged with the break-ins themselves, but with receiving stolen property and use of credit cards taken from one of the vehicles, a 2012 Honda. At the time of his arrest, police said, those stolen cards had already been used at Walmart, Wawa and QuickChek in Kearny, a Harrison QuickChek and a liquor store in East Newark.

– Karen Zautyk

Learn more about the writer ...