Nutley police arrested a 21-year-old Bloomfield man in the early-morning hours of Nov. 11 on Gerard Road after a resident caught him allegedly trying to burgle his Mercedes Benz, the Nutley Police Department said.
Darren Clark was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of attempted burglary, after police later learned he was allegedly responsible for three other incidents, the NPD said.
When the Gerard Road resident saw Clark trying to get into his car, he attempted to restrain him. At the time, an off-duty Nutley police officer heard screams for help and came to the assistance of the resident by restraining Clark and slapping handcuffs on him.
Police said they found a backpack on Clark that contained electronic equipment that was believed to have been taken from other vehicles on Ohlson Ave. and Gerard Road.
Police Chief Thomas Strumolo says it’s unusual to catch a car burglar in the act.
“It was by chance that the Gerard Road resident went out to his car at the precise moment Clark was attempting to gain entry,” the chief said. “It was also a stroke of luck that one of our off-duty officers heard the yells for help and was able to assist the resident.”
Strumolo commended the resident for his bravery and thanked the officer for his assistance.
“Although it was 2:20 in the morning, Clark seemed to think that that the town was sleeping. Guess he realizes now that Nutley is on alert 24/7 and may think twice about coming here when released,” Mayor/Police Direct Al Petracco said.
Police are exploring whether Clark can be linked to several car burglaries that happened a week prior.
Clark was remanded to the Essex County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, the NPD said.
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Meanwhile, police are seeking the public’s help locating a motorist who struck a 62-yearold pedestrian at 5:23 p.m., Nov. 11.
Police said the woman, who was wearing dark clothing, was struck near Centre St. and Myrtle Ave. and sustained serious head injuries. Police believe the driver may not have been aware the woman was struck.
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or who has information about the driver is asked to call the NPD at 973-248-4940.
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