Sketch leads to arrest of suspected burglar


A Newark man is in police custody in connection with an overnight Belleville home invasion.

Jermaine Ramirez, 25, was arrested Monday, May 22, at his N. Seventh St. residence in Newark on charges of burglary of a Eugene Place home on May 19 and theft.

Police said the episode began at around 3:10 a.m., when an intruder reportedly entered the Eugene Place home and remained inside for about 40 minutes.

During that time, police said, a female victim was dragged from a futon away from her children toward a separate bedroom, but one of the children woke up during a struggle between the victim and intruder and ran upstairs to alert another family member.

The burglar, carrying $20 he allegedly took from the victim’s purse, fled the building at about 3:52 a.m., police said.  

In the aftermath of the incident, detectives interviewed the victim who provided a police sketch artist with a description of the intruder, which was circulated to regional media outlets.

At the same time, detectives canvassed the neighborhood for surveillance cameras and found a camera near the crime scene that had captured video of the suspect walking in front of the victim’s residence carrying a water bottle, police said.

Police said they secured the water bottle and sent it to an N.J. State Police lab for possible DNA evidence.

Meanwhile, based on the composite created by the sketch artist, detectives believed it matched a man they were familiar with from prior incidents that happened in September in Belleville and Bloomfield, namely, Jermaine Ramirez.

Knowing that the suspect was living on N. Seventh St. in Newark, detectives canvassed that area for surveillance video and located video footage of Ramirez walking out of that residence on May 19 at about 3 a.m. and wearing clothing similar to what the Eugene Place victim had described and to what the surveillance video near the crime scene displayed, police said.

Using a search warrant, police accessed the N. Seventh St. residence where they said they found clothes matching the description.

Ramirez was brought to BPD HQ where he reportedly admitted committing the May 19 burglary and theft, police said.

The BPD thanked the NJSP for their assistance in the case as well as the community for permitting detectives access to private and business surveillance systems.

This arrest, police said, was the result of a collaborative effort between police and the community.

– Ron Leir

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