Three 20-somethings driving around without inspection sticker, only 1 plate nabbed for theft of nearly $6K in handbags: LPD

The moral of this story — if you have over $5K in stolen merchandise in your car, you should be sure to have an inspection sticker and two New Jersey tags on the vehicle if you’re going to be driving around.

According to Lyndhurst Police Department Det. Lt. Vincent Auteri:

On Monday, April 1, 2024, at 10:48 p.m., Lyndhurst Police Officer Michael Clifford was on patrol in the area of Schuyler and Page avenues when he observed a vehicle operating with no visible inspection sticker and without a front license plate. The subject vehicle then proceeded to make an improper turn and, as a result, Officer Clifford executed a motor vehicle stop.

As Officer Clifford approached the vehicle, he observed the rear passenger remove her jacket and place it over something resting on the seat next to her. Upon reaching the vehicle, he was greeted by the driver who was eventually identified as Yoshua Villafuerte-Cordova, 21, of Dover.

Officer Clifford then learned there were two additional passengers in the vehicle who were identified as Cristian Pumarojas, 25, of Kearny, and Diana Oliva-Gutierrez, 25, of Paterson. All three claimed they didn’t speak English.

During the course of his investigation, Officer Clifford observed several designer purses and an assortment of designer clothing on the back seat and along the floor board of the vehicle. The merchandise was still affixed with respective price tags.

The suspects did not have receipts for any of the merchandise and Officer Clifford ultimately learned the items had been stolen from several retail stores throughout the area. Additionally, a device used to remove security devices from merchandise was also discovered.

The total retail value of the stolen items was determined to be $5,673. Officer Clifford was assisted by Sgt. Philip Reina and Officers Edward Montoya and Nicollette Villani.

Villafuerte-Cordova, Pumarojas and Oliva-Gutierrez were all charged with receiving stolen property and possession of an inventory-control device.  Additionally, Pumarojas had an outstanding warrant out of Newark and was remanded to the Bergen County Jail.

Villafuerte-Cordova and Oliva-Gutierrez were released, pending court.

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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.