LIVINGSTON, NJ — During the last week of February in Livingston, police officers responded to multiple incidents throughout town, including reports of prescription fraud, a stolen vehicle, robbery from a local business and more.
Livingston Police Catch Three Suspects in the Act of Theft by Deception
A Bunyan Drive resident called police on Saturday morning, Feb. 22, to report that she had received an Email confirming the shipment of an iPhone, valued at $1,200, purchased under her name. She then received a second Email indicating that the phone was due to be delivered to her home by Federal Express.
Livingston police officers Levecy DeOliviera and Savino Balducci were able to locate the FedEx driver in the area of the victim’s home and confirmed that there was a phone to be delivered on the truck.
After Officer Adam McDavitt advised the company that officers were investigating a fraud involving the delivery, the FedEx manager allowed DeOliveira to dress as a FedEx employee and deliver the phone while Balducci watched the house from a distance.
Almost immediately after the phone was dropped off and the delivery was logged into the FedEx computer, officers observed a Honda CRV approaching the victim’s home. The vehicle then pulled into the driveway, where one of three occupants exited and took the phone.
According to the officers, who blocked the car in the driveway and detained all three individuals, an additional phone that had been stolen from a home on Sycamore Avenue was found inside the car.
All three individuals—identified as Jochy Ortiz Jiminian, 36, Edickson Lora Castillo, 20, and Oliver Lopez Linares, 20, all from Elizabeth—were charged with theft by deception, receiving stolen property and conspiracy. All were released with a complaint summons to appear in Superior Court at a later date.
Two Arrested in Livingston on Charges of Fraud, Conspiracy and More
Just after 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, Livingston police received a call from the pharmacy counter at the CVS located at 184 S. Livingston Avenue reporting a prescription fraud.
According to police, the pharmacy had received an electronic prescription for promethazine with codeine for a person that did not have a patient profile with CVS. When the pharmacist checked the prescription, it was discovered that the prescription had been issued by a doctor’s office in Georgia. A follow-up call to the doctor revealed that this was one of several fraudulent prescriptions that had been generated under the doctor’s name, according to police.
Police noted that the pharmacy had also received a call from someone claiming to be a relative of the patient inquiring of the prescription was ready for pickup.
Upon the arrival of Livingston officers, pharmacy personnel pointed out a man who arrived to claim the prescription. When the officers attempted to detain the man, he ran from the store, across the front parking lot and jumped into the passenger seat of a moving Mercedes that fled the lot.
According to police, the car, which had a temporary plate, went south on South Livingston Avenue and turned left onto W. Oakwood Avenue, then took Falcon Road out to E. Northfield Road. As the driver emerged from Falcon Road, where Sgt. Jose Antunes observed the vehicle, he quickly accelerated and struck the front of the police car.
The Mercedes then fled east on E. Northfield, eventually turning down Chestnut Street and being abandoned at the dead end. Police said the driver and passenger both ran from the car into the backyards of homes on Canoe Brook Road before being located and arrested by Officer Adam McDavitt and Det. Michael Spano.
The passenger, identified as Chase Griffin, 21, of Decatur, Ga., was charged with assaulting an officer, eluding police, resisting arrest, obtaining a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) by fraud, conspiracy and numerous traffic violations.
The driver, identified as Leroy Collins, 24, of Far Rockaway, NY, was charged with obtaining CDS by fraud, conspiracy and resisting arrest.
Both men were transported to the Essex County Jail, and the charges were referred to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.
Two Suspects Steal Thousands Worth of Handbags from Livingston Consignment Shop
At about 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26, Livingston police received an activated fire alarm from Duet | Curated Consignment at 79 S. Livingston Avenue, where Livingston Fire Chief Chris Mullin arrived to find no signs of fire. Upon speaking with store employees, Mullin discovered that they pulled the fire alarm because two people had stolen handbags from the store.
While taking a theft report, police learned from employees that a man who had initially engaged employees in conversation then grabbed three handbags and ran to the door. A woman who had entered the store separately from the man held the door for him as he fled the store, and both individuals got into a black BMW with a New York license plate.
According to police, the license plate on the BMW was later found to have been stolen off of a car parked on the street in Newark. The three stolen handbags, which have not been recovered, had a total value of $3,750.
Vehicle Stolen from Office Parking Lot on Eisenhower Parkway
A vehicle was stolen from the parking lot of the office building located at 354 Eisenhower Parkway at 5:19 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25.
According to police, a worker looked out the window and saw a silver Audi pull up next to a 2020 Range Rover in the parking lot. One person got out of the Audi and into the unlocked Range Rover, which had a key left inside. Both cars fled north on Eisenhower Pkwy toward Route 280.
Livingston police, who broadcast a description of the vehicles to surrounding towns, were able to get intermittent tracking information from Range Rover support that led to the intersection of Clifton and Park in Newark. An Essex County Sheriff’s unit then conducted a search of the area and came upon two Range Rovers parked on a nearby street.
When the officers pulled up, they found that multiple people were in the process of removing the wheels from the Range Rover that had been stolen from Livingston. Seeing the officers, the suspects then jumped into the second Range Rover and fled, according to police.
Police noted that the license plate on the stolen Range Rover had already been switched out with a fictitious temporary plate. The stolen vehicle was impounded in order to be processed for fingerprints and other evidence.
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