KPD: Cops nab man who burgled liquor store, pub & restaurant

In late February, Kearny Wine & Liquor store, on Kearny Avenue, was broken into overnight. A burglar reportedly smashed the glass with a rock, stole a lottery drawer with $500 in it and fled. Fingerprints and camera footage were obtained. The suspect had distinctive neck and hand tattoos.

The following day, Snug Harbor was broken into overnight, allegedly by the same suspect. A cash drawer containing over $500 was taken and the drawer itself was worth $3,500.

On the night of Feb. 23, Kearny units responded to North Arlington, where the same suspect had been surrounded and trapped in a restaurant while burglarizing it. Kearny and North Arlington officers made entry into the restaurant and eventually found the man hiding under a table.

Jose A. Vega, 36, of Newark was arrested and charged with all three burglaries. The charges include burglary, theft, conspiracy and criminal mischief.


On Feb. 28, units were dispatched to Midland Dairy at midnight. Business closing is a common time to commit armed robberies especially since owners typically remove cash from their premises overnight. Police were informed of a suspicious vehicle, bearing a Pennsylvania license plate and with a broken windshield, which was idling in the Midland Dairy parking lot with five men inside.

Sgt. Mike Andrews and Officers Cort Montero and Travis Witt responded. Upon arrival, they were able to identify the driver. His license was suspended and officers learned a Beachwood warrant for the man’s arrest was active. The vehicle was in a dangerous condition and its registration was not valid. When ordered to place the vehicle into “park” and exit the vehicle, the driver and occupants repeatedly refused.

Officers drew their weapons in a manner of constructive authority; however, the vehicle rocketed out of the parking lot and drove off, blowing through a red light. Per the Attorney General’s rules on pursuits, the man’s wishes to not be arrested were honored, and he and his four friends were able to get away despite the dangerously dilapidated, unregistered vehicle, suspended license, arrest warrant and most importantly, suspicions of criminal activity. Whether an armed robbery was planned will be investigated; however, it is unlikely much evidence will be unearthed now.

Since officers identified Raymond M. Hood, 33, of Irvington as the driver, they were able to generate an arrest warrant. He was charged with eluding, obstructing administration of law, endangering another person, resisting arrest with risk of injury, driving while suspended, vehicle in an unsafe condition, driving an unregistered MV, obstruction of a windshield, failure to wear a seatbelt, failure to observe traffic light, reckless driving, careless driving likely to endanger persons and speeding across a sidewalk.


On Feb. 25, Officers Castaneda and Rivera were dispatched to a Belgrove Drive residence after a man had thrown a rock through the window of the residence, then fled. The family provided police with security camera footage of the man throwing the rock, and the officers were able to identify him.

While the two officers on scene were completing their investigation, Sgt. Tim Castle observed said man in a vehicle near the scene. When Sgt. Castle got behind the vehicle, the man began driving down Belgrove Drive, swerving and crossing the double yellow lines several times. A motor vehicle stop was initiated.

The man, William D. Mccurley, 39, of Jackson, exhibited bloodshot watery eyes, with droopy eyelids and reeked of alcohol. After field-sobriety tests were conducted, it was determined he was impaired. His vehicle was impounded and he was arrested.

A search of his vehicle for intoxicants led officers to recovering two conducted electronic devices (commonly referred to as Tasers), which, because of his history, Mccurley was not allowed to possess. At Kearny PD Headquarters, Mccurley blew nearly triple the blood alcohol content limit allowed by law.

He was charged with criminal mischief, possession of a weapon for unlawful purpose, unlawful possession of a weapon, certain persons not to have weapons, DWI, failure to maintain lane and failure to produce vehicle documents.

Mccurley was then transferred to the Hudson County Jail, South Kearny. However, not to worry, on the evening of Feb. 26, a little more than 12 hours after he was booked, Mccurley was released from custody by court order.


Editor’s note: There were 20 arrests in the last week.

Learn more about the writer ...

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.