Police & Fire

Police Blotter: Armed Robberies, Drug Arrests, Vehicle Thefts and More in West Orange

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — The following police incidents occurred during the month of February, according to police, including two armed robberies, five drug arrests, one burglary to a residence, two vehicle thefts and one simple assault:

ARMED ROBBERIES:

1. When a patrol unit responded to a report of an armed robbery in progress at 42 Whittingham Place, a 20-year-old male victim stated that he had been robbed five minutes earlier by three black males wearing hooded sweatshirts.

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According to police, the victim reported that the three men pulled up next to him and jumped out of a black Toyota Camry. The male in the front passenger seat pointed a small silver knife and said, “Give me everything you have, no games.”

It was also noted that a similar incident occurred approximately ten minutes prior in Orange, according to the Orange Police Department. Items stolen included a wallet, New Jersey identification, social security card, $50 in cash, a book bag and the grey dress pants and sneakers off his body.

 

2. Police responded to a burglary to motor vehicle in progress in the area of Dean Street Joyce Street, where a resident witnessed two black males wearing dark, hooded sweatshirts acting suspiciously near her neighbor’s work van. Noticing the rear door ajar and a large object passing between the two men, she attempted to yell for the neighbor.

While she was yelling for her neighbor, according to her report, one of the males uttered, "Bitch I will shoot you." They then ran and entered a burgundy Nissan Pathfinder that was parked on Dean Street, she said.

Both males are described as black males, approximately 5'6” in height, in their mid-to-early 20's and possibly of Haitian decent. The owner of the van noticed a Milwaukee brand drill and a drum snake on wheels (NFI) were removed from the rear of the vehicle.

 

CONTROLLED DANGEROUS SUBSTANCE (CDS) ARRESTS:

1. Police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle with possible drug activity at 627 Eagle Rock Avenue on Feb. 7. Upon approaching the vehicle, police said they observed two males and detected a detected a strong odor of raw marijuana emanating from the passenger compartment.

A search of the passenger revealed a medium-sized bag containing green, leafy vegetation—suspected marijuana. A search of a black backpack revealed two small bags containing residue and four plastic vials containing residue. The backpack belonged to the driver and both were placed under arrest.

The drive was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and the passenger was charged with possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana.

 

2. Police responded to the Rite Aid located at 262 Main Street on Feb. 15 on reports of a suspected drug loss from the store’s pharmacy. In speaking with the district manager, police found that a female pharmacy technician in training was the suspect of the theft.

According to the district manager, that he received information the day before regarding customer complaints in which two customers stated their prescribed pill counts were short. His own investigation into surveillance footage showed the female suspect standing in the area where customer prescriptions are stored, he said. Several minutes later, she takes a piece of paper towel and opens a prescription bottle.

According to police, the suspect was seen running out of the rear of the store while the police were on scene. After a short foot pursuit, the woman was taken into custody.

An interview at headquarters revealed that she took 15 Tramadol pills and 14 Oxycodone pills of different values over the course of three weeks. The 34-year-old woman was charged with three counts of possession of CDS, three counts of theft, possession of a weapon and obstruction.

 

3. A 24-year-old female West Orange resident was arrested Feb. 15 for possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana and CDS in a motor vehicle after a concerned citizen reported a CDS transaction at the Eagle Rock Co-op apartment complex.

According to police, the Street Crimes Unit has received numerous complaints recently from area residents who stated that CDS activity was occurring at this location.

 

4. A 20-year-old white female and 18-year-old black male were arrested for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on the same day following a motor vehicle stop in which police said the vehicle had an inoperable left brake light. The driver was also issued a traffic summons.

After stopping the vehicle in the area of Main Street and Washington Street, the officer detected a strong odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle and immediately recognized the operator due to past incidents and arrests. Despite proving negative for any contraband, she admitted to using marijuana earlier.

The observed what appeared to be a hand-rolled marijuana cigar (blunt) underneath the rear of the vehicle that was still dry despite the wet ground. A second blunt was also located curbside in the area of the passenger-side door, which was also found dry on the wet surface.

 

5. Police were patrolling the area of Suzan Court and Robert Court following numerous citizen complaints regarding CDS usage by persons in the parking lots of the Eagle Rock Co-op apartment complex when they detected the odor of burnt marijuana emanating from the western-most parking lot of Suzan Court.

A search of the vehicle in question, which was occupied by four people, revealed a pill bottle enclosing a sandwich bag that contained a quantity of marijuana that was located in the center console. The marijuana was accessible to all four occupants, according to police.

Two packs of cigar roll ups, commonly used to smoke marijuana were located in the vehicle. All four were charged with possession of marijuana on West Orange special complaint. The driver was also charged with possession of paraphernalia and was issued a summons for CDS in motor vehicle.

 

BURGLARY TO RESIDENCE:

Upon re-entering their home after being gone for approximately five hours, a family noticed that all the lights inside the residence were turned on and personal belongings had been rummaged through. According to police, the father also stated that one of the bedroom windows located south side of the Laurel Avenue residence was found open.

Items stole, according to the family, included several pieces of jewelry valued at a total of approximately $10,000 as well as a Motorola cellular phone ($200). Police investigation revealed that an unknown actor(s) gained entrance to the residence by cutting a window screen and opening the unlock bedroom window located south side of the residence.

 

VEHICLE THEFTS:

Recovered: A white Audi Q5 was reported stolen Feb. 5 from the driveway at 8 Ridgeview Ave. According to police, the vehicle was unlocked with the keys in it. It was later recovered in East Orange.

Items stolen included: laptop traveling bag ($60); Apple Mac Book ($1200); iPhone 6s ($500); EZ Pass ($25); Designer Coat ($300); White Gold Diamond Wedding Ring ($1100); White Diamond Band ($1000); two Lagos Rings; and a pink stone and blue stone ($200 each).

Recovered: A white 2014 Audi A6 was reported stolen on Feb. 5 from the driveway at 62 Burnett Terrace. According to police, the vehicle was later recovered in Newark.

Items stolen included: golf clubs ($5000); golf shoes ($500); sunglasses ($400); prescription sunglasses ($600); a stethoscope ($250); and an EZ Pass ($25).

It should be noted that multiple vehicles were entered and items stolen during the month of February, including some incidents on the streets listed above.

 

SIMPLE ASSAULT:

Police arrived at the scene of an unknown problem at Las Palmeras, located at 364 Valley Road, where they discovered two males lying in the roadway and notified the fire rescue team to respond.

A security guard said that at approximately 12:30 a.m., a couple of patrons inside the establishment were engaged in a physical altercation, at which point he advised them to leave for the night. After escorting all parties outside, the guard said they tried to regain entry and attempted to force their way into the rear entrance of the bar.

The security guard was then met with physical resistance from the group of four-or-five males and a physical altercation occurred once again in which the guard stated he was punched in the face. When he tried to remove himself from the situation, he said two of the males began to follow him and charge at him while in the roadway in front of the bar. In self-defense, he then struck both men one time and subdued them.

The two parties stated that they were assaulted by the security guard after he escorted them out of the bar. Police noted that both were highly intoxicated.

Upon viewing the video footage, police said the physical altercation between the group and the security guard was very evident. According to police, the footage shows a group of four-or-five males physically assault the guard and then chase him down the driveway toward Valley Road.

All parties were advised to contact the court clerk if they wished to file a formal complaint, according to police.

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