KPD: Vehicle stolen from repair shop winds up in crash in Belleville and thief, 15, nabbed

On Oct. 16 at 12:29 p.m., Officer Chris Manolis took a report from a customer of a Kearny Avenue auto repair shop who said he dropped off his Toyota SUV the night before, put his key in the shop’s lock box and now found that the SUV and the key were stolen. Det. Jordenson Jean began a follow-up investigation and quickly developed a lead that a teenager, later identified as a 15-year-old Kearny boy, was the suspect.

Shortly after the Toyota was reported stolen, Det. Jean learned it had been involved in a multi-vehicle hit-and-run crash in Belleville. Det. Jean conferred with Det. Sheridan of Belleville police who reported he saw wanted posters Det. Jean circulated and identified the suspect as a boy Belleville police took into custody earlier in the day for a residential burglary. The boy had a Toyota key and key fob on him when arrested for the burglary. After his booking, the boy had been ordered released to his guardian.

Det. Sheridan saw the boy again, later in the day. Now aware that the boy was wanted for the Kearny auto theft, Det. Sheridan stopped the boy and learned the location of the stolen Toyota. Joined by Det. Jean and the boy’s guardian, the group recovered the stolen Toyota in Newark and the boy was formally taken into custody on the Kearny charges. He was charged with theft on a juvenile delinquency summons. A court intake officer ordered the boy released on home detention.


On Oct. 17 at 7:47 p.m., Officers David Vazquez and Josh Lopez were dispatched Devon Street and Columbia Avenue on a report of a man trying car door handles. The officers canvassed the area and found Daniel McKeown, 53, of Kearny, who matched the description of the alleged handle puller.

McKeown was found to be wanted on a Kearny warrant for trespass, carrying $1,000 bail (relating to a March 2020 arrest, in which he was accused of trying car door handles; and an April 2020 arrest in which an officer found McKeown inside someone else’s parked car). He was arrested for the warrant and later sent to the county jail. Lacking any identified witnesses to the current report about the car door handles, McKeown was not charged in relation to that accusation.


On Oct. 19 at 8:30 p.m., Officer Paul Duran arrested a 26-year-old Kearny man who turned himself in at police headquarters. The man’s girlfriend appeared earlier to press charges against him for a domestic incident from the night prior that left her bruised.

The victim alleged the boyfriend punched, kicked and dragged her, before blocking the exit of his apartment and refusing to allow her to leave for some time. The suspect, whose name is withheld to protect the identity of the victim, was charged with simple assault and false imprisonment.

He was remanded to the county jail, South Kearny.


On Oct. 19 at 11 p.m., Officers Duran and Lawrence Latka were dispatched to the Elizabeth Police Department to take custody of prisoner Sean M. Crotty, 37, of Elizabeth, who was the subject of a Kearny arrest warrant. The warrant stemmed from a May 22 “smash and grab” burglary to Dina’s Café at 734 Kearny Ave. In that case, Crotty was accused of smashing the café’s glass door with a rock, entering the store, and stealing the cash register and money within it.

Det. Kyle Plaugic conducted that investigation, identifying that Crotty had allegedly arrived at the scene in a silver Acura TL. He later learned that the Bloomfield, Livingston, Summit, Woodbridge and Edison police departments all reported similar burglaries that weekend involving a silver Acura TL. A joint investigation was undertaken with those police departments, and at the conclusion of it, Crotty was identified as the burglary suspect.

On June 16, Det. Plaugic charged Crotty on a warrant with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglar’s tools. After Crotty was picked up Oct. 19 and processed, he was remanded to the Hudson County Jail.


On Oct. 20 at 8:30 p.m., Dets. Tim Castle and Mike Andrews arrested Tariq M. Mujahid, 53, of Newark, at the East Orange police headquarters. Mujahid had been picked up by East Orange authorities on a Kearny arrest warrant relating to a June 2020 shoplifting charge at Walmart. Mujahid was later transferred to the county jail.


On Oct. 22 at 1:33 a.m., Officers Anthony Oliveira and Matthew Knighton responded to a two-car crash on Truck Routes 1&9 near the Passaic River Bridge. All vehicle occupants were reportedly shaken up but uninjured.

When Officer Oliveira asked driver Basdeo Persaud, 57, of Jersey City, for his driving credentials, Persaud reportedly handed the officer his COVID vaccination and medical insurance cards. Rather than accept a co-pay, Officer Oliveira put Persaud through a battery of field sobriety tests, which Persaud failed. He then arrested the driver for DWI and an outstanding Jersey City arrest warrant for a prior simple assault charged (no bail).

Following a breath alcohol test at the police station, Persaud was charged with DWI and careless driving.

He was then turned over to the Jersey City Police Department.

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Capt. Timothy Wagner | Kearny Police Department

Capt. Timothy Wagner is the Kearny Police Department's public-information officer and the commander of the department's Internal Affairs Unit. He contributes the KPD Blotter weekly and writes it completely.