KPD arrest a ‘Panty Plunderer’ at Marshalls for third-consecutive week

On March 27 at 2:32 p.m., Officers John Fearon and Mariana Figueiredo and Sgt. Phil Finch were dispatched to Marshalls where, for the third week in a row, an employee caught an alleged panty plunderer.

A store employee accused Elvin J. Echevarria (a/k/a Jose Rodriguez), 50, of Newark, of concealing $158.91 of underwear on his person and trying to leave the store without compensating for the clothes. Echevarria was charged with shoplifting and also held at the county jail on an outstanding Hudson County Superior Court bench warrant related to a prior robbery charge.

On March 26 at 5:11 p.m., Det. Jordenson Jean was assigned to a security post at ShopRite, where a store manager reported a customer was tearing open packages of cellular phone chargers in aisle 11 of the store. Det. Jean then saw the accused package popper moving toward the exit without any visible merchandise. The detective started a conversation with the suspect and learned he had allegedly concealed an air freshener and several cellular phone chargers in his pockets and had tried to leave without paying for them.

Upon discovering this, Det. Jean arrested the man. He was later identified as Siddiq A. Ali, 25, of Newark. Ali was charged by summons with shoplifting and later released.

On March 26 at 6:39 p.m., Officers Cort Montanino and Mat Lopez were driving past Passaic Avenue’s futsal soccer field and observed a 17-year-old boy on top of a fallen 14-year-old boy. The assailant was punching the younger boy in a mixed martial arts “ground and pound” style.

Officers took the older boy into custody. He was later released to a parent with a stationhouse adjustment for simple assault.

On March 27 at 11:55 a.m., Officers Alvaro Goncalves and Chris Medina and Sgt. Jay Ward were dispatched to a call of criminal mischief on Hickory Street. There, a man reported he was inside his home when his 27-year-old ex-fiancé arrived outside and began smashing and scratching his car with rocks. This left the car with broken windows and paint scratches. The suspect seemingly consulted a thesaurus and scratched several nasty words into the windshield and body of the car.

The ex-fiancé fled on foot but was stopped by police around the corner. She was arrested on a charge of criminal mischief and later released with a summons.

On March 28 at 1:46 p.m., Officers Travis Witt and John Fearon and Sgt. Phil Finch met with loss prevention employees at Walmart who accused Judith M. Lazu, 40, of Newark, of concealing $692.06 of merchandise in reusable shopping bags and passing all points of sale without paying.

The officers arrested Lazu for shoplifting and later released her with a summons.

On March 28 at 5 p.m., Det. John Fabula arrested Nicole Ramirez-Aquino, 20, of Newark, when she turned herself in at police headquarters. The arrest of Ramirez-Aquino was related to a previously-reported cellular phone “sim swap” investigation.

Back on Nov. 13, a 19-year-old Kearny man reported to police his cellular phone had apparently been hacked and his bank account had been intruded upon. The victim reported that a day earlier his cellular phone unexplainably turned off. When he turned the phone back on, the victim received emails from his bank notifying him that two Zelle wire transactions had been made from his bank account for $1,000 and $339 respectively. The victim had not authorized these transactions.

As a result of his comprehensive investigation, Det. Fabula charged Ramirez-Aquino with theft and conspiracy. She was processed and transferred to the Hudson County jail.

On March 28 at 6:01 p.m., Officers David Vazquez and Jose Perez-Fonseca were dispatched to Marshalls where a shoplifting had been reported. A loss prevention employee accused Ronnie A. Wright, 37, of Elizabeth, of concealing $468.30 of merchandise in a laundry bag and trying to leave the store without paying.

Officers charged Wright with shoplifting and lodged him in the Hudson County jail.

On March 28 at 7:25 p.m., Officer Taylor Latka and Sgt. Sean Kelly were tapped for the next Marshalls response. There, a loss prevention associate accused Elias Rodriguez, 40, of the Bronx, of concealing $96.17 of merchandise and then carrying it past all points of sale without paying.

Incident to Rodriguez’s arrest, officers searched his backpack and found $101.76 of merchandise that had been stolen from a nearby Five Below store. Rodriguez was charged with two counts of shoplifting and held at the Hudson County jail.

On March 29 at 6:44 p.m., Det. Jordenson Jean was called back to Ulta Beauty on Passaic Avenue, a store he had just left as part of an unrelated investigation. A store manager reported Regina J. Rosado, 50, of Newark, was observed concealing a Lancome beauty product in her purse.

Det. Jean waited outside the store and while doing so learned Rosado had allegedly paid for a low-priced item at a cash register but had not paid for the Lancome product. Det. Jean confronted Rosado when she exited the store and recovered $135 of stolen merchandise on her person.

Named in two prior arrest warrants for shoplifting issued by the courts of Bridgewater Township and Clifton, Rosado’s Kearny shoplifting charge was lodged on a warrant and she was held at the Hudson 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.