LIVINGSTON, NJ— A timely and productive response from the public after photos of a suspect in a complaint of credit card fraud were posted on social media recently helped the Livingston Police Department (LPD) identify and arrest the suspect. Her arrest was the most recent of four made in Livingston during the first half of April, including the arrest of a Livingston man for weapons offenses after a tense exchange with police and a suspect wanted by the LPD since November 2020.

LPD Social Media Followers Assists in Arrest of East Orange Woman

After losing her credit card in the Livingston Mall on March 30, a woman discovered that the card had been used in numerous locations in Livingston, Orange, Irvington and East Orange.

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Upon further investigation, Det. Gregory Drucks was able to obtain several pictures of the same woman with blonde hair and dressed in all pink using the card at each location mentioned on the victim’s account. According to police, the woman wore a pink outfit and matching pink face mask in every location where security cameras could locate her. The detective also found video of the suspect’s vehicle, but the plate number was not clear.

In an effort to identify the suspect, photos of her wearing the pink face mask were placed on the LPD Facebook and Instagram pages. 

According to police, the public response was quick and accurate. Among the information that Drucks received was a tip stating that the suspect resided in a specific apartment building. Additional investigation confirmed her identity as Ceceila Medina, 56, of East Orange.

On April 13, detectives from Livingston located Medina on a corner near her home in East Orange wearing the exact same pink clothing she was wearing when using the stolen credit card.

Medina claimed she found the victims’ credit card after it was left in an ATM at the Livingston Mall. She was arrested for credit card theft and credit card fraud. She was processed and released on a complaint summons to appear in Superior Court. 

Relatives Report Disturbance that Leads to Arrest of Livingston Man

A concerned relative of a 41-year-old Livingston man called the LPD at approximately 8:45 p.m. on April 8 to report that the man had been acting erratically and had recently posted disturbing messages. According to police, family members were concerned enough to visit the man at his home, where the man claimed to be armed with a loaded handgun that he had built.

Family members said the man then threatened to use the gun against himself and any police officers that responded and that he also appeared to be paranoid of the government. The man then got into his vehicle and drove off.

About 20 minutes into their search for the man, responding officers observed his car being driven at a high rate of speed back toward his house on W. McClellan Avenue. He then pulled into his driveway, exited his vehicle and began walking toward the officers, at which point police said glock handgun was clearly visible in a holster on his hip.

According to police, the man was agitated and began screaming for the officers to shoot him. Officers gave verbal commands to him for several minutes before he finally followed their directions and surrendered.

In addition to the handgun on his hip, officers recovered two extend magazines loaded with hollow point bullets, 200 bullets and five knives in the car. Several other guns, bullets and edged weapons were later removed from the home.

Livingston Police Chief Gary Marshuetz expressed pride in the way that his officers performed in resolving the situation without having to use force. Officers on the scene included Sgt. Jose Antunes and Officers Anthony Trajer, Kyle Kitchin, Sheena Maldonado, Ryan Duffy, John Bonnet and Daniel Valle.

According to police, the man was taken to Clara Maas Hospital for a mental health evaluation and was cleared for release three hours later. After being transported to police headquarters for processing, he was charged with unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of knives, possession of hollow-point bullets and possession of large capacity magazines. He was eventually lodged in the Essex County Jail, and his charges have been referred to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

False License Plate Leads to Arrest of Newark Man with Outstanding Warrants

Earlier this month, a motor vehicle stop initiated against a Honda Civic for use of tinted windows and a counterfeit temporary plate led to the arrest of Keyshon Dorval, 29, of Newark on multiple charges, including outstanding warrants out of Livingston for previous charges as well as the Pocono Mountain Regional Police in Pennsylvania for a charge of strangulation.

On April 3, at approximately 4:15 p.m., Officer Ryan Manger stopped Dorval’s vehicle as he was entering the parking lot at the Livingston Mall and confirmed Dorval as the suspect wanted in connection with an ongoing stolen check investigation being conducted by the LPD since November 2020.

According to police, Det. Carl McNamara had previously filed 32 criminal charges against Dorval for using checks that were stolen from the mail of Livingston residents. The charges included multiple counts of forgery, uttering forged documents, identity theft and theft by deception.

Dorval was arrested for the outstanding warrants in Livingston and Pennsylvania as well as the counterfeit license plate. He was also charged with criminal simulation for the license plate and several traffic violations. Following processing on all charges, Dorval was transported to the Essex County Jail, and all charges were referred to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

Livingston Officers Locate Shoplifter with $1,258 Worth of Stolen Goods

A few days later on April 5 at approximately 5:30 p.m., Livingston police were called to the CVS at the Livingston Circle on a report of a shoplifting in progress. Shortly after responding officers were given a description of a man who was leaving the store with two bags of stolen merchandise, Officers Sean Whalen and Matthew DeBiasse located a man fitting the description in the parking lot of the Donut Basket parking lot nearby.

According to police, the man was carrying two bags filled with lotion and deodorant from CVS. A review of video surveillance confirmed that the man officers had stopped was the same person who committed the shoplifting.

Kurt Holloway, 32, of Orange, was arrested and charged with shoplifting $1,258 worth of merchandise. Holloway was transported to the Essex County Jail, and the charge was referred to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.

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