Two reported carjackers are behind bars thanks to the quick work of the Kearny Police Department and its Detective Bureau, Capt. Timothy Wagner, the department’s public–information officer announced April 16.
Wagner says a 52-year-old Kearny man reported to police that he was carjacked on Friday, April 12, at about 6:40 a.m. The victim reported he had left his Nissan Altima running with the doors locked while he went into a bakery on Kearny Avenue near Bergen Avenue. Upon exiting the bakery with his purchase, the victim reported he saw a man near the driver’s side door of his car.
As the victim approached his car, a second man punched him in the eye, knocking him to the ground. While the victim was stunned, one of the assailants stole his car key from his pocket. Both suspects then fled the scene in the victim’s car.
The victim sustained a minor facial injury and broken glasses in the assault.
Det. Michal Gontarczuk headed up the investigation for the Kearny PD. Police said they identified the two alleged carjackers after interviews of witnesses and sources — and afollowing review of several surveillance videos in the vicinity of the crime.
An arrest warrant was issued the same day as the offense charging Keandre Johnson, 20, of Irvington, with first–degree carjacking and second–degree conspiracy.
Johnson’s accomplice, identified as a 17-year-old Newark boy,was charged with the same offenses on a juvenile–delinquency complaint.
Unfortunately, later the same day as the offense, the victim’s car was involved in a crash on the New Jersey Turnpike. The car’s occupants fled prior to police arrival. The circumstances of this crash are being investigated by the New Jersey State Police, who have jurisdiction on the Turnpike.
Meanwhile, Kearny detectives developed information that the defendants might return to Kearny on April 15. Dets. Gontarczuk, John Fabula, Dan Esteves and Sgt. Michael Gonzalez set up surveillance on Bergen Avenue. At approximately 9:35 p.m., both defendants were located and placed under arrest without incident.
Johnson, who was also wanted on an Essex County warrant issued for a prior assault charge, was remanded to the Hudson County Jail, pending his court appearance. The juvenile was remanded to a county youth detention facility. He was additionally charged with possession of burglar’s tools, a disorderly-persons offense, relating to a screwdriver found on him during the arrests.
Deputy Chief Scott Macfie praised local store owners for cooperating with police and helping them to develop leads on the two alleged carjackers.
“Residents and several businesses partnered with the department detectives to successfully close this case quickly.” Macfie said. “Our thanks to all of those in the community that assisted with this effort.”
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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off 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 Facebook Live, 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 West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.