KPD: In the wrong at ShopRite

KPD Elijah Easterling
Elijah Easterling

A shoplifting suspect escalated the charge against him from theft to robbery last week when he allegedly assaulted two ShopRite employees who tried to stop him from leaving the store with ill-gotten goods, Kearny police reported. He ended up in the Hudson County Jail on $50,000 bail.

KPD units, called to the Passaic Ave. supermarket at 3 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 15, were told that the man had struck the two workers and was now fleeing on foot. Officer Giovanni Rodriguez got the suspect’s description and direction of flight, and Sgt. Charles Smith located him on Marshall St. (See Google maps.)

In addition to robbery, Elijah Easterling, 21, of East Orange, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia (a crack pipe). Police said he also had a $315 criminal warrant from East Orange and a $250 Kearny warrant on a prior shoplifting charge.

What had he allegedly tried to steal this time? According to police, $106 worth of soap and body wash. To quote one law enforcement source who has (justifiably) asked to remain anonymous: “He must have thought he could make a clean getaway, but he got into quite a lather at the store.”

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

Oct. 9 

At 7:30 p.m., Officers Sean Kelly and Dominic Dominguez responded to the Walmart lot on several reports of a woman in a Jeep acting erratically. They arrived to find Jennifer Southard, 34, of Rockaway, asleep behind the wheel of the still-running vehicle, with an open bottle of Smirnoff Ice in the cup holder, police said. Despite repeated attempts, they were unable to awaken her and had to force open the door to turn off the engine, police said. Following field sobriety tests, she was charged with DWI and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Oct. 10 

Officers Daniel Esteves and Chris Manolis, on patrol at Kearny and Johnston Aves. at 8 p.m., observed a man drinking from a 32 oz. bottle of Coors. When they approached to issue a town ordinance violation, the man reportedly identified himself as Juan Carlos. However, police said Esteves knew that was not his name. Edwardo Espinosa, 53, of Kearny, got the drinking-inpublic summons, along with a charge of hindering apprehension. Police said he also had a $250 Kearny warrant for drinking in public, under the alias Carlos Guiterrez.

Oct. 11 

Officers Kelly and Dominguez were dispatched at 3 p.m. to an accident at Hickory and Pine Sts. and found in the roadway an unoccupied 2013 Kia with heavy front-end damage. Police said witnesses identified a man walking east on Pine as the Kia driver, who had hit a parked car. When Kelly and Dominguez stopped him about a block away, he reportedly was swaying and had about him the odor of alcohol. Following FSTs, Osvaldo Desousa, 23, of Harrison, was charged with DWI, reckless driving, abandonment of a vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and refusing to take an Alcotest.

Oct. 13 

At 9:30 a.m., on the 100 block of Devon St., Vice detectives arrested Lou Lutrario, 47, of Kearny, on a $782 North Arlington warrant. He was taken to headquarters and the North Arlington PD was notified.

Oct. 14 

At 9 p.m., police said, Sgt. Scott Traynor encountered a disorderly Georganna Britting, 19, of Newark, who was yelling and screaming (at no one in particular) near Johnston and Lincoln Aves. She was advised to cease and desist and was arrested on a $100 traffic-offense warrant out of Newark. She was taken to HQ and Newark police were notified.

– Karen Zautyk 

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