PATERSON, NJ – They couldn’t quit while they were ahead. The three people who authorities say are responsible for Paterson’s recent rash of bodega robberies allegedly trick to knock off two more grocery stores on 8th Avenue Tuesday night.
After robbing the first store, Pily’s Grocery, near E. 23rd Street, the suspects ran into resistance at the second a block away, police said. An employee at El Jaya Deli Grocery near E. 22nd Street shot one of the alleged robbersin the lower back and shortly afterwards Paterson police had three suspects in custody, using information they developed during their investigation about the getaway car, authorities said.
Police are accusing the wounded man of being involved in 11 armed robberies in the past two weeks, while the two other suspects have been charged with somewhat fewer crimes. In their spree, the suspects had robbed thousands of dollars, according to police.
The case came to a head at about 7:50 pm on Tuesday. That’s when the Paterson Police Department received calls about the latest two robberies. Officers Rafael Campos and Rafael Hernandez responded to Pily’s Grocery where they learned that two black males wearing black clothing and masks had robbed the store and pistol-whipped one of the employees, police said. In none of the previous incidents had authorities reported anyone being physically assaulted.
Meanwhile, Officers John Kelly and Iris Velez went to El Jaya Deli Grocery where they learned a similar robbery had occurred that an employee confronted one of the suspects after the robbery and shot him, police said. The vehicle in that robbery matched a description that authorities had for previous crimes and an alert was issued to all patrol officers, police said.
Officer Alfredo Guzman then stopped a vehicle fitting the description at N. Main and Arch Streets, police said. Six other officers provided backup - David Silva, Juan Rodriguez, Ryan Duffy, and Jose Torres, along with Detectives John Scully and Michael Cossari. They approached and found three people inside, including a man with a gunshot wound.
Police charged Jermaine Eason, 23, of 13 N. 3rd Street, with 11 counts of robbery with possession of a weapon. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center where he is listed as critical but stable condition with his gunshot wound. Police charged him in connection with the robberies at stores at:
- Broadway / Madison Ave.
- 15th Ave. / E. 22nd St.
- 11th Ave. / 26th St.
- 94 Nagel Ave.
- 328 11th Ave.
- 498 12th Ave.
- 42 Highland St.
- 8th Ave. / E. 23rd St.
- 8th Ave. / E. 22nd St.
- 499 Union Ave.
- 176 4th Ave.
Also arrested was Rayvon Wilson, 23, of 2-1 Grimes Place. He was charged with six counts of robbery with possession of a weapon. He was named in connection with the robberies at Broadway / Madison Ave.; 15th Ave. / E. 22nd St.; 11th Ave. /26th St.; 42 Highland St.; 8th Ave. / E. 23rd St.; and 8th Ave. / E. 22nd St.
The third person arrested was Clara Amala, 22, of 669 14th Avenue. She was charged with eight counts of robbery involving the incidents at Broadway / Madison Ave.; 15th Ave. / E. 22nd St.; 11th Ave. / 26th St.; 42 Highland St.; 8th Ave. / E. 23rd St.; 176 4th Ave.; 8th Ave. / E. 22nd St.; and 499 Union Ave.
The investigation was conducted by Det. Sgt. Dave Scialla, Det. Ralph Fermin, Det. Roberto Mercado and Det. Brendan Stapleton. The city’s Detective Bureau is continuing this investigation into the series of Robberies that has occurred throughout the City of Paterson.