On Oct. 22 at 8:02 p.m., Officers Ryan Wilson and Michael Ore were sent to the East Newark Police Department to take custody of a 31-year-old male prisoner who was wanted on a Kearny arrest warrant. The man had been charged with simple assault after an Oct. 1 incident in Kearny where it was alleged he broke four of his girlfriend’s fingernails while ripping a cellular phone from her hand as she tried to call the police during an argument. The defendant fled the scene of the assault before police arrived.
The officers applied for an arrest warrant after the Oct. 1 simple assault, which was approved. The defendant was booked on the warrant and transferred to the county jail in South Kearny.
On Oct. 24 at 8:17 a.m., Officer Luis Cazares, Ryan Stickno, Anthony Nunez, and Sgt. Joe Vulcano were dispatched to a dispute call near Kearny Avenue and Boyd Street. They located a 27-year-old Philadelphia woman bleeding from the nose. Officers learned that the woman had been in a nearby apartment asleep in the living room while Juan C. Meza, 32, of Orlando, was in a different room.
The woman awoke to find Meza allegedly trying to kiss her. The woman reportedly pushed Meza away and punched him. Meza allegedly responded with a barrage of punches to the woman’s nose and then threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
The officers found Meza in the apartment and arrested him.
He was charged with simple assault and terroristic threats, and later released with a summons.
On Oct. 25 at 2:12 p.m., a driver left his 2014 Mercedes sedan running with the keys in it while he went into a Kearny Avenue business. Moments later a blue BMW SUV pulled over nearby, two men emerged from the BMW and stole the idling Mercedes. A quantity of cash and a New Jersey firearms ID card had been inside the Mercedes.
At 10 p.m. the same day, Newark Police located the stolen Mercedes on the 700 block of Broadway. The firearms ID card was later recovered by the Millburn Police Department. The investigation remains active.
The police department cautions all residents to please lock your car doors and take all keys or fobs with you when exiting. Locking and removing the key is a simple behavior that can frustrate thieves’ attempts to either steal the car or burglarize it to steal items from inside. As is evident from this blotter, unlocked car doors and running vehicles present an easy crime of opportunity for a person trying door handles.
On Oct. 25 at 6:07 p.m., Officer Pedro Pina was dispatched to the 300 block of Chestnut Street where a resident reported that someone had entered his Ford Fusion and stole at least $250 in currency and coins. Officer Pina reviewed neighborhood surveillance footage from the night before and identified the alleged car burglar as Daniel McKeown, 53, of Kearny.
McKeown was not at the scene when the resident discovered the crime, so Officer Pina applied for an arrest warrant charging burglary and theft.
On October 26 at 7:32 p.m., Officers Pina and Nick Funk located McKeown at Midland Dairy. The warrant having issued, Pina arrested McKeown. McKeown was booked and transferred to the Hudson County jail.
On Oct. 26 at 6 a.m., Officer John Fearon was dispatched to an apartment building at 14 Woodland Ave. on a report that a man had entered the building’s locked vestibule and was tearing open other people’s mail.
Officer Fearon found Jose M. Torres, 26, in the building’s lobby. Torres said he was homeless and was drying off his clothes from the rain. Officer Fearon reviewed surveillance camera footage finding that Torres allegedly opened mail from Medicare and Wellcare that was addressed to residents of the building.
The officer arrested Torres on charges of theft and burglary. He was remanded to the county jail in South Kearny.
On Oct. 28 at 5:15 a.m., Sgt. Pat Becker and Officers Ruben Rivera and Lawrence Latka responded to the 100 block of Belgrove Drive after a resident reported a stranger was asleep in the driver’s seat of the resident’s Honda minivan.
The officers arrived and saw David F. Vanegas-Castano, 27, of Kearny, asleep in the van. The owner reported that he had left the door unlocked, which helped facilitate his entrance.
Officer Latka arrested Vanegas-Castano on a charge of criminal trespass. He was later released from the police station with a summons.
On Oct. 28 at 11:37 a.m., Officer Ryan Stickno was dispatched to Patterson Street on a report that a black 2021 Jeep Wrangler’s GPS was pinging in the area and the Jeep had been reported stolen from Westport, Connecticut. Enroute, the vehicle’s GPS locator updated showing that the Jeep had moved to the drive-thru at Burger King at 205 Passaic Ave.
Officer Stickno and Sgt. Gonzalez found a black Jeep in the drive-thru, but instead of displaying its proper Connecticut license plate, it now displayed a New Jersey plate. The officers converged and detained driver Josh T Thater, 21, a homeless Brooklyn resident.
Thater had no driver’s license or paperwork for the Jeep. A computer query of the Jeep’s Vehicle Identification Number confirmed that it was in fact the stolen Jeep. The officers learned that its New Jersey license plate had just been stolen from the parked vehicle of a Patterson Street resident.
Officers arrested Thater on charges of receiving stolen property and theft. He was later released with a summons.
On the afternoon of Oct. 28, Det. Jordenson Jean saw Daniel McKeown, 53, of Kearny (yes, same as above), walking on the 400 block of Kearny Avenue. There was a newly-issued warrant out for McKeown’s arrest based on an Oct. 15 car burglary that Det. Jean investigated.
In that case, a 43-year-old Chestnut Street man found someone had rummaged through his parked, and presumably unlocked, Audi A4 in the overnight hours. Stolen from the car was a set of Beats headphones and about $10 in quarters.
Det. Jean reviewed area surveillance camera footage and identified the alleged car burglar as McKeown. He also saw footage of McKeown allegedly trying the door handles of several other vehicles parked on the street.
Backed up on Oct. 28 by Officers Alan Stickno and Bismark Karikari, the trio arrested McKeown without incident. He was booked on the warrant, which charged burglary and theft. McKeown was later transferred back to the county jail.
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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.