A Saturday night party in a Quincy Ave. backyard morphed into a crime scene Aug. 29 when three of the guests robbed two others at gunpoint, Kearny police reported. Two of the suspects were nabbed the same night; the third was found several days later, reportedly hiding in a Windsor St. residence.
The KPD learned of the crime when Officer Daniel Esteves was called to a Kearny Ave. business at 8 p.m. on the 29th by the proprietor, who said that two patrons were discussing having been robbed about an hour earlier.
Esteves interviewed the victims — both Kearny men in their 20s — who said they had been approached at the party by a woman and two other men, one armed with a handgun, who relieved them of their backpacks, containing at least one laptop computer, police reported.
Det. Michael Farinola conducted follow-up interviews, networked with the Vice Unit, determined that the culprits had fled the scene in a 2001 silver Hyundai and developed as suspects Christina Pereira, 21, of Kearny, and Xavier Moya, 24, of Newark.
Warrants were issued for their arrest, a BOLO was put out and, shortly after 10 p.m., Det. Michael Andrews reported that he had spotted Pereira and Moya sitting in a silver Hyundai parked on the 600 block of Schuyler Ave.
Andrews, Farinola and patrol units converged on the scene and took the pair into custody.
The car was impounded and, after obtaining a warrant from Hudson County Superior Court, police searched it and reportedly found a North Face backpack, belonging to one of the robbery victims, in the trunk.
Hidden in the spare-tire compartment, police said, was a 40-cal. Hi-Point semiautomatic handgun fully loaded with nine rounds of hollow-point bullets — eight in the magazine and one in the chamber. The gun’s serial number reportedly had been defaced.
Meanwhile, investigators had also identified as the third suspect 19-year-old Christopher Ochoa of Kearny, and Det. Michael Gonzalez developed information that he “was laying low” in a Windsor St. home, Chief John Dowie noted.
The house was put under surveillance and, at 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, the KPD, including Tactical Service Unit officers, entered and searched it and found Ochoa literally laying low, hiding under a bed. He was arrested and charged with armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, possession of a defaced firearm and of hollowpoint ammunition.
Ochoa was remanded to the Hudson County Jail on $350,000 bail, with no 10% option.
Pereira was charged with armed robbery and conspiracy and was held on $100,000 bail, no 10%.
Moya’s bail was set at $250,000, no 10%, on charges of armed robbery, possession of a weapon, possession for unlawful purposes, possession of a defaced firearm and possession of hollow-point ammo. Additionally, he was charged under the “certain persons not to possess a weapon” law. This, police said, was due to his criminal history, including convictions for burglary and aggravated assault