EDITORIAL: Bravo to those who spoke up at CVS robbery

If you watch television cop shows on a regular basis, you no doubt have seen this scenario play out in fiction.

A crime is committed. There’s a crowd of people who witness the crime. Some may even use their cell phones to record the event.

And then, when police arrive, looking for information from the people who were there, suddenly, everyone falls silent.

“I didn’t see nothin'” is usually the line uttered in some shape or form. Because for some reason, when it comes to cooperating with the police, witnesses tend not to want to get involved.

Unfortunately for investigators, in the real world, this sort of scenario is one faced way too often.

Whether it’s the old, antiquated notion of not wanting to be a snitch, or fear that criminals sometimes instill in victims and onlookers about retribution, the silence isn’t something that just happens on television.

It’s an everyday reality that often makes it difficult for detectives to adequately clear their cases.

Such could have been the case Feb. 6, when the CVS at Bergen and Schuyler avenues, Kearny, when Mark Alverson, 30, of Newark, is alleged to have robbed the store. Reports said he pointed to his waistband as if he had a gun on him. He’d demanded the money in the register he had approached. When he was done helping himself to money that didn’t belong to him, he reportedly hopped in a cab and fled to Newark.


But just 37 minutes later, Alverson was in police custody in Newark.

Said a Kearny police spokesman: “The detective work that led to this suspect’s arrest in under 40 minutes was bolstered by the cooperation of citizen witnesses who were able to give detailed descriptions to the police. The PD thanks them for their assistance.”

The police were fortunate witnesses came forward to give them the details they needed to nab this guy.

It was all a reminder that doing the right thing, though it may be, at times, at a cost, is always the only thing to do.

Thanks to brave witnesses willing to speak up — and excellent detective work — one less criminal is on our streets.

Well done, KPD and all involved. There couldn’t have been a much better outcome.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.