WEST ORANGE, NJ – Numerous thefts from cars that were left open, reports of shoplifting from K-Mart and CVS, and stolen cash that happened to victim who may have been too trusting of where he left a bag filled with money were reported to West Orange police in late June.
The major burglaries and thefts included:
1. An officer responded to a report of a burglary at a residence located on Franklin Avenue on June 21. The victim told the officer that an unknown individual entered the residence’s common hallway. This individual removed a double stroller, valued at $400. In addition, a bicycle that was chained in the middle landing of the staircase was missing. The bicycle belongs to her upstairs neighbor.
Police said there were no signs of forced entry, and the door was secure. The officer advised the victim to contact her neighbor when he got home, and have him contact the police if his bicycle was removed from the staircase.
2. A theft of four tires and rims taken from a white Honda Accord parked on Watson Avenue was reported to police on June 22. The reporting person told the officer that a neighbor had knocked on his door to let him know that some unknown person(s) had stolen the tires and rims, and left the vehicle sitting on cinder blocks.
The vehicle had wheel locks, and the key to the wheel locks was found untouched in the trunk of the vehicle, according to police. There are cameras located across the street from where the theft took place. Police said the items reported missing are valued at $1000.
3. An officer responded to a report of a burglary to a 2015 black motor vehicle on June 23. The reporting person told police that an unknown actor entered the vehicle while it was parked in her driveway. The vehicle doors were unlocked. She stated that the actor ransacked the center console, glove compartment and trunk of her vehicle. According to police, the actor also removed a black Epson projector valued at $200 from the trunk. There was no damage to the vehicle doors.
4. An officer responded to a motor vehicle burglary on June 23 on Buckingham Road, where the victim told the police that many items were stolen from the black Honda Pilot that was parked on his driveway. He said the vehicle was unlocked. Police said there was no forced entry or damage to the vehicle. His Nest camera system, which only saves video up to three hours, did not have any video that showed the burglary in action.
The items reported stolen were an iPod Nano worth $179, two Bose ear buds worth $200, two Randolph engineering sunglasses worth $360, Maui Jim sunglasses worth $400 and $35 in currency.
5. LA Fitness on Prospect Avenue and Rooney Circle was the scene for a theft on June 23. A reporting person told the officer that the belongings he placed in his locker while working out were stolen. There was no lock affixed on the locker. After his one-hour workout, the victim saw that a Jansport backpack and all the items in it were missing. This included his car keys. Only his sneakers were left behind. His car was not stolen, according to police, but he needed Triple AAA to tow the car back to his residence.
The stolen items were a Jansport backpack worth $30, a black Graphic T-shirt worth $15, a pair of green cargo pants worth $85, and the car keys to his Volkswagen Jetta automobile.
6. A victim told police on June 23 that he retrieved $3500 from the PNC Bank at 30 Main Street for his payroll. After leaving the bank, he entered a restaurant on Main Street with a small blue bag containing the $3500, along with his business license and business deposit slips. He placed the bag on the counter near the coffee machine, and placed a food order. After receiving his order, the victim left the restaurant without taking the blue bag on the counter. He returned a short time later to discover that the bag was no longer there.
While reviewing the surveillance video, it was discovered that a Hispanic male entered the restaurant from the rear entrance. According to police, the suspect placed his food order near the coffee machine where the blue bag was located. As the suspect received his order, he untied the plastic bag containing the food, placed the victim’s blue bag inside and exited the restaurant through the rear exit.
Police reported that the suspect left via a black Honda CRV. He has a beard, hair up in a ponytail, and a tattoo on his left forearm. He was wearing a white T-shirt, beige shorts and red sneakers.
7. A store manager of the CVS located at 20 South Valley Road contacted the police, and reported that while monitoring the store’s surveillance cameras, she observed a black male wearing a white T-shirt and blue jeans entering the store with a shopping cart. The unknown suspect went to aisle 17, where he put numerous detergents valued at $96.07 into his cart and walked out of the store. He fled east on Nassau Street into the City of Orange, according to police.
8. A shoplifting in progress at K-Mart on Prospect Avenue was called into police on June 23. The suspect had entered a white minivan and fled from the lot. An officer observed the vehicle fitting the description entering the Route 280 eastbound ramp from Prospect Avenue.
When the officer spoke to K-Mart loss prevention personnel, he was told that the suspect was a heavy-set, white female wearing gray sweatpants. The K-Mart staff person reporting the incident said that three cans of Similac worth $83.97 were retrieved from the suspect before she fled. A motor vehicle pursuit was activated, and the suspect was caught at Freeway Drive and South Harrison Avenue in East Orange.
The reporting person made a positive identification of the suspect, who was taken into custody. The driver of the vehicle was also taken into custody. Both the suspect and the driver had complaints of chest pain. They were transported to East Orange General Hospital.
Their vehicle, which contained other possible proceeds from K-Mart stores, was secured and towed. According to police, the suspect was charged with shoplifting and possession of drug paraphernalia. A record check of the suspect revealed outstanding warrants from Bloomfield and Edgewater police departments. The driver was charged with eluding, failure to yield to emergency vehicles, reckless driving and driving while suspended, police said.
A record check of the driver revealed a “No Bail” warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, as well as warrants from Cedar Grove and Newark police departments, according to police. After leaving the hospital, the driver was transferred to the Essex County Correctional Facility.
9. A victim came into headquarters on June 24 to report a theft of her wallet and the contents inside. According to police, the victim went to TGI Fridays in West Orange the night before with her boyfriend, where they were seated at tables adjacent to the bar area. When she woke up in the morning, she noticed that her wallet was missing from her purse and realized she left it at TGI Fridays. She went back to the restaurant, and met with the manager to locate her wallet. No lost wallet was turned in.
The stolen wallet, which is worth $60, contained $150 in cash, a Visa debit card, a New Jersey driver’s license, a Sephora membership card and TD Bank information. The victim informed police that she checked her online banking statement, and she discovered that an unknown actor used her Visa debit card at an ATM Debit Delta.
According to the police report, the actor withdrew $42 from her account. The victim cancelled her debit card. She was given an identity theft packet, and advised to complete it and return it to the police.