NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Sharp-eyed detective work led to the arrest of a homeless man wanted for burglary and shoplifting offenses in Somerset County.

North Plainfield Detective Enrico Perrone was patrolling the West End of the borough along the Plainfield border when he saw Oscar Gerena walking down the road. Perrone, knowing there were Somerset County and National Crime Information Center (NCIC) warrants for Gerena’s arrest, exited his car and identified himself.

“We have a list of people who are currently wanted and our detectives drive around looking for people,” said North Plainfield Police Chief Parenti.  “This way we can clear cases and also get known offenders off the street.”

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Gerena fled into Plainfield and Perrone gave chase for more than two blocks, finally apprehending the suspect in Plainfield at the intersection of Liberty Street and West Second Avenue.  In addition to being arrested for the two warrants and obstruction of justice, Gerena also had a hypodermic needle in his possession for which he was charged.

Gerena was transported to the Somerset County Jail on the NCIC warrant, as well as a recent burglary he is suspected of committing in North Plainfield.

This is not the first time that Gerena has been involved in a foot race with North Plainfield police officers.  In 2012 Gerena was caught in a 66 year old woman’s bedroom committing burglary, and the woman chased him out of the house toward Route 22 as police were called.  Gerena ran to the Cedar Street Apartments where police found and apprehended him.

Gerena has been involved with the North Plainfield police eleven times in the past four years.

“It’s unfortunate, but eighty percent of crime is committed by twenty percent of the people,” said Parenti. “We keep arresting them, putting them in jail, but when they get out they start up again.”