LIVINGSTON, NJ — Livingston police responded to the scene of a residential burglary in progress, reports of suspicious people in residential neighborhoods and more over the last week.
Two Arrested During Residential Burglary
An Amelia Avenue resident called police to report that he observed two suspicious men on his property at approximately 4:41 p.m. on Dec. 6. The caller stated that he was able to review his security camera footage and discovered that the two men had approached his front door and then walked to the rear of his home.
Officer Michael Davenport responded to check the house and found that the back door had been pried open. Additional officers responded and surrounded the house. According to police, the suspects initially tried to escape out the back door, but retreated back into the house upon seeing police officers.
A short time later, the men came out of the house through the garage and were taken into custody without incident. When officers cleared the house for additional suspects, they found that the master bedroom had been ransacked. Two large screwdrivers were recovered from the suspects, according to police.
The men were taken to police headquarters, where they were identified as Sergio Meli-Machuca, 21, of Corona, NY and Carlos Gil-Castano, 19, of Dover. Both men were charged with burglary, conspiracy, criminal mischief, burglary tools and attempted theft. They were sent to the Essex County Jail, and the charges were referred to the Prosecutors Office.
Police Respond to Calls of Suspicious Vehicles
At approximately 6:35 a.m. on Dec. 7, a resident called in a white BMW being driven erratically in the area of Bennington and S Livingston Avenue. According to Livingston police, officers checked the area of Livingston Avenue up to Rt. 280 and did not locate the vehicle.
A few days earlier on Dec. 5, an East Drive resident called police around 7:10 p.m. after she observed a suspicious person exit a car on the street and run up her driveway to her parked car. According to police, the homeowner called out to the man, who then fled back to the waiting car.
The prowler was described as six-foot tall black male wearing a red hat, and the vehicle was described as a small SUV, according to police. Officers responded to check the area but could not locate the vehicle.
Car Fire Causes Evacuation of Special Needs Group Home
On Dec. 7, at approximately 7:15 a.m., police responded to a car fire on the property of the CPNJ Group Home at 265 East Northfield Road. Upon arrival, the car was found to be close to the building, and the residents were moved to transport vans as a precaution until the fire was extinguished.
According to police, the vehicle involved was a 2005 Ford Taurus and belonged to an employee. Another employee, 54-year-old East Orange woman, was transported to the hospital for possible smoke inhalation, police said.
Pending Investigation on Pedestrian Struck
A pedestrian was struck in the area of S. Livingston Avenue and E. Northfield Road at approximately 7 p.m. on Friday night. According to the Breaking News Network (BNN), which monitors emergency radio activity, an emergency medical service (EMS) was called to the scene for one victim.
Livingston police did not immediately respond to confirm this report, but more information will be shared as it becomes available.