Arson reported at bathrooms in township park: NPD

The Nutley Parks Department reported possible arson Oct. 19 in two bathrooms at Booth Park, off Harrison St., according to reports.

During their investigation, police said they found significant damage to the bathrooms. A men’s room mirror was shattered, light bulbs were broken, a toilet tank was broken and a paper-towel dispenser was also broken. Police said the towels seemed to have been set on fire, as there was ash all over the floor and burn marks on the roll itself. The mirror’s cardboard backing also appeared to be burned, the police said.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Police said they also found a shattered mirror and a broken paper towel dispenser in the women’s room at the same park.

A water-fountain head near a softball field was also broken off.

Damages were estimated at around $1,000, the NPD said.

Meanwhile, the NPD released the following reports of incidents that took place between Oct. 17 and Oct. 23:

Oct. 17 

• A man exiting a bus on  Kingsland Ave. told police he was robbed at gunpoint of $100.

Police said the man told them when he got off the bus, a black man brandished and pointed a black handgun at him and ordered him to the ground. The victim, who later declined to give police his name, said he gave the suspect $100 cash — and then, the suspect fled in what he thought was a silver Toyota Camry that had pulled up in the area of the robbery.

Police said the victim admitted to being “a little tipsy,” though he refused medical attention at the scene. The NPD Detective Bureau continues to investigate.

• A taxi driver told police a  passenger tried to stiff him of his fare at the intersection of Laura and Edison Aves.

The driver said upon arrival, the passenger got irate and left the cab without paying. Police said they found the passenger near School Lane, who said he thought he’d paid the fare and who said he was upset because he believed the driver intentionally drove to an incorrect location to increase the fare. Ultimately, the passenger paid the fare and was taken to NPD HQ to find another ride.

• A Walnut St. resident told  police items valued at $775 were stolen from his car. Police said they observed items in the car strewn about. The car owner didn’t know whether it had been locked prior to the theft. There were no signs of forced entry, police said.

Oct. 18 

• Dana Piccirilli, 24, of Bel leville, was arrested on an outstanding Bloomfield warrant after a motor vehicle stop on Kingsland Ave. Piccirilli was issued a summons by NPD charging her with driving on a suspended license. Police said she also posted bail for the Bloomfield warrant and was released, pending court.

• A River Road resident’s  catalytic converter was stolen from his car, police said. The car owner said he noticed a scratch on the car and later realized the converter, valued at $800, was missing. Police said the thief apparently used a saw to cut out the car’s exhaust.

Oct. 19 

• A man who Carrie Court  residents described as “suspicious” was arrested on an outstanding Belleville warrant. Callers told police that a man later identified by police as Jesse Barber, 31, of Bloomfield, had been looking inside a car. When police located  Barber, they learned he was wanted by Belleville police. Barber was released on his own recognizance and was issued a new court date by Belleville police.

• A Franklin Ave. resident  reported an attempted burglary. Police said the resident told them there was damage around the home’s front door, but it appeared no one gained entry to the home. The Detective Bureau was notified.

Oct. 20 

A car was stolen from Hancox Ave. after its owner  left it parked, unlocked and with the keys inside while he went into a 7-Eleven store to shop. Police said a description of the vehicle was broadcast to surrounding towns.

Oct. 21 

A Lafayette Place resident’s car was damaged. Police said it appeared the car’s rear passenger-side window was cracked to the point where it was about to collapse. The victim, meanwhile, told police he’d seen a landscaper mowing a lawn earlier — and he believed the landscaper kicked up a rock that caused the damage.

Oct. 22

• Zequiel Mendoza, 34, of Passaic, was arrested on an outstanding Passaic warrant following a motor vehicle stop. Police said they learned of the warrant after pulling Mendoza over for driving on a suspended and expired driver’s license. Mendoza was transferred into the custody of the Passaic Police Department, according to the NPD.

• A Wayne Place resident had her iPhone 6S stolen from her unlocked car. Police said the phone, valued at $700, was pinged to a Newark location and the NPD’s Detective Bureau was notified of the theft.

Oct. 23 

• Nearly 160 plastic delivery bins valued at $6,400 were stolen from a Harrison St. business. Police said they were told the bins were left outside overnight for a delivery company to pick up the next morning, but when the company came to pick them up, they were gone.

• A car was stolen off an East Centre St. driveway. Police said the car had been parked on the driveway the night before, but the victim found it missing the following morning.

• Police are investigating two incidents of fraud. In the first case, a resident told them they were getting several magazines in the mail they never ordered — and bills for them.

In the other case, a resident told police his bank called him to check on suspicious charges made to his debit card at a Nutley business. The charges were overturned, the card cancelled and a new card has since been issued.

Learn more about the writer ...