If at first you don’t succeed …



Ordinarily, local shoplifting suspects are listed in the Kearny police blotter (this week’s is the post below this one), but there were a couple of recent arrestees who warrant special mention. They include one who reportedly elevated theft into robbery and one who managed to get busted twice in three days.

At 5:30 p.m., April 3, Det. Michael Andrews was working a security detail at ShopRite when he observed Justin Hill, 27, of Clifton, conceal some food and a quart of milk in a black plastic bag and try to leave without paying, police said.

When Andrews confronted him in the foyer, demanding to see a receipt, Hill reportedly threw the items on the floor and tried to push past the officer and run. Police said Andrews attempted to grab him, but Hill continued pushing and OC spray had to be deployed so he could be handcuffed.

The suspect, transported to KPD headquarters by patrol units, was subsequently found to have a $168 warrant out of Westville, N.J., and a no-bail drug-court warrant issued by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, police said. Hill was charged on those and with robbery and resisting arrest and was remanded to the Hudson County Jail after Kearny Municipal Court Judge Thomas D. McKeon set bail at $50,000, with no 10% option.

The second shoplifting suspect was nabbed after he allegedly returned to the scene of a previous crime, namely the QuickChek.

At 11:40 a.m., March 31, Officer Malinda Esposito responded to the store after employees reported that a man who had stolen from it on a prior occasion was back. They put him under surveillance, and he left, riding away in a 2009 Nissan operated by a female. Esposito issued a BOLO, and Officer Jose Perez-Fonseca  stopped the car at Devon and Liberty Sts.

Police said the driver, Juliana Herrera, 36, of Kearny. was found to have a suspended license and a $350 motor vehicle warrant out of Newark. She was charged on those, and with failure to surrender a suspended license, was booked at headquarters and held for pick-up by the Newark PD.

Her passenger, Gheorghe Vasile, 35, also of Kearny, was charged with shoplifting after QuickChek personnel were brought to the scene and reportedly identified him as the person who had stolen a dozen Red Bull energy drinks from the store March 24. He was also booked at HQ, and was released on a summons.

But the saga continues.

Shortly after 5 p.m., April 3, police were advised that a shoplifter was attempting to flee the CVS at Bergen and Schuyler Aves. Officer Angelo Pagano responded and arrested … Gheorghe Vasile. Who reportedly had concealed eight bottles of shampoo under his coat. (“I guess he was trying to make a clean getaway. Not to get in a lather about it,” said a KPD administrative source who shall not be identified lest he be charged with felony puns.)

Vasile was once again arrested for shoplifting and, because he had no warrants and shoplifting is merely a summonsable offense, he was once again released on one.

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