Berkeley Heights Resident Reports Diversion Scam


On Monday, July 9, 2010, Ptl. Donato Minicozzi investigated a diversion theft at a Webster Drive residence. The victim, a 73 year old female, reported that a male came to her residence stating that he was putting up a fence for her neighbor and needed to check on her property line.

After approximately 15 minutes, the suspect received a phone call, at which time he stated he had to leave to check on other workers. While checking her bedroom later, an undetermined amount of cash was missing. The suspect was described as a clean shaven white male with an average build. The matter has been referred to the Investigations Division.

On Friday, July 13, 2012 at 4:09 am, Ptl. DeSimoni responded to the area of Glenside Avenue to investigate a report of a motor vehicle accident. Upon arrival, it was determined that Nicholas Kosciolek, 20, of Scotch Plains, was involved in a single vehicle motor vehicle accident. While travelling southwest on Glenside Ave, Kosciolek failed to negotiate a curve at which time his vehicle left the roadway, striking a guardrail. Further investigation revealed that he
was intoxicated, at which time Kosciolek was placed under arrest. Kosciolek was brought to police headquarters, processed and charged with driving while intoxicated, careless driving and failure to maintain lane. Kosciolek was then released with a date to appear in Berkeley Heights Municipal Court.

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On Friday, July 13, 2012 at 9:51pm, Ptl. Ron DeSimoni arrested Joanna L. Payne, 47, of South Plainfield. Payne was the operator of a 2005 Dodge that was stopped in the Seely’s Pond parking lot. A subsequent investigation revealed that she was intoxicated at which time she was brought to police headquarters and processed. Payne was charged with driving while intoxicated and given a date to appear in Berkeley Heights Municipal Court. She was then
released into the custody of a family member.

On Monday, July 16, 2012, officers responded to the area of La Grande Ave. and Columbia Ave. to investigate a reported stabbing. Upon arrival, Ptl. Michael Gallaro located the victim, an 18 year old male (from Summit), who reported that he was stabbed in the head by a 17 year old male from Mountainside, who is known to him. Officers set up a perimeter and Sgt. Ernest Schmidt located the suspect on Park Avenue. The subsequent investigation revealed
that the victim was not stabbed, but hit in the head with a beer bottle. Several other juveniles were taken into custody for under age possession of alcohol. The 17 year assault suspect was brought to police headquarters for further investigation. Juvenile charges are pending and he was released into the custody of his parents.

On Monday, July 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm, Ptl. Ron DeSimoni arrested David B. Webster, 23, of Berkeley Heights. Ptl. DeSimoni responded to a report of a large group of individuals congregating in the area of Lincoln St. and Berkeley Ave. Upon arrival, he was able to clear the area, but Webster became uncooperative and was found to be intoxicated. Webster was placed under arrest and brought to police headquarters where he was charged with disorderly
conduct. He was then released to a family member.

On Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:24 am, Ptl. Michael Gallaro arrested Catherine Rucinski, 23, of Berkeley Heights. Rucinski was found to be walking alone on Springfield Avenue in a highly intoxicated state. Officers attempted to offer her a ride to her residence due to her condition at which time she became highly agitated, uncooperative and belligerent. After attempting to assist Rucinski, she continued to use profanity at the officers, at which time she was placed under arrest. Rucinski was brought to police headquarters, processed and charged with interfering with a law enforcement officer. She was given a date to appear in Berkeley Heights Municipal court and released into the custody of a friend.

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