Weehawken detectives make arrests
Weehawken police, in particular the department’s detective bureau, made four arrests recently that solved four burglaries and one theft involving the use of a stolen credit card.
Under the command of Capt. Thomas Earl, the Weehawken detective bureau was able to solve the case of three January burglaries in town, tying the same perpetrator to all three crimes.
Police arrested 22-year-old Daniel Vitiello of Union City and charged him with the burglaries of three Weehawken residences, namely one on Boulevard East Jan.7, another on Bond Place Jan. 15 and the last on Park Ave. Jan. 28.
“The detectives traced some of the stolen property, as well as cell phone records and some confidential information to [allegedly] tie all three burglaries to Vitiello,” said Weehawken Deputy Police Chief Jeffrey Fulcher. “The detectives did a fantastic job. It was outstanding detective work in following the leads to make the arrest.”
Vitiello was charged with three counts of burglary and theft and received a $10,000 bail assessment per each charge.
The next arrest came in the case of fraudulent use of a credit card.
Detectives determined that 21-year-old Remny Gomez of West New York somehow allegedly got access to a Weehawken woman’s bank debit card and pin identification number.
Gomez then allegedly took the card and used it at three different locations in Bergen and Hudson County, allegedly using the card to purchase $2,000 worth of auto accessories and service from an Auto Zone and another $800 from the IKEA furniture store.
“The Weehawken resident reported the card stolen after she received bills for goods and services that she said she never purchased,” Fulcher said. “The detectives then traced the purchases and one of the surveillance cameras in the store caught him [allegedly] using the card.”
Fulcher said that the woman had no connection whatsoever to Gomez and she had no idea how Gomez ended up with the card.
“But because she became proactive and called us right away, we were able to make the arrest [March 11],” Fulcher said.
Gomez was charged with three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card and held on $5,000 bail. Allegedly, Gomez has a history of prior arrests in the same manner, using a stolen credit card.
Weehawken police also solved the burglary and theft at a 48th Street apartment on Jan. 16, which included a stolen Dell laptop. Police arrested repeat offender Jason Flores, 21, of Union City, and Jonathan Caban, 20, of North Bergen, and charged them both with the theft of the laptop.
“Through persistent investigation, some evidence left at the scene and some confidential information, the arrests were made,” Fulcher said.
Flores, who has been arrested at least six times in the past in Weehawken and other jurisdictions for burglary, was held in lieu of $10,000 bail. Caban’s bail was set at $5,000.
Missing cash and jewelry
A female resident of Duer Place called Weehawken police March 5 and reported that sometime between May of 2007 and March 2008 that her home was burglarized of cash and jewelry.
“The resident said that she first noticed something was missing in November, when a duffle bag containing $1,200 in cash was gone from her residence,” Fulcher said. “She said that at the time she had hired a contractor and an electrician to do work on her home. Then, she noticed some of her jewelry was also missing.”
The victim said that the missing jewelry was valued at $5,700. Fulcher said that the woman did not tell police why she waited so long to report the alleged thefts.
“She’s being interviewed by detectives,” Fulcher said.
A 2007 Infiniti parked on Maple Street was broken into sometime between March 5 and 6, when the driver’s side lock was pried open. Taken from the vehicle were important documents, like the insurance card and the owner’s driver’s license.
A 1998 Ford SUV that was owned by a deceased Weehawken resident was reported stolen March 8. The car was parked on Highpoint Avenue since at least December, but was reported stolen by family members when it wasn’t where the owner apparently parked it last.
Driving while intoxicated
A New York driver who apparently got lost in the Weehawken “Shades” section was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated and reckless driving.
On March 8, 58-year-old Sylvester Chandler of New York apparently was looking for the Lincoln Tunnel and got lost around West 18th Street and Hackensack Plank Road operating a 1997 Toyota pick-up truck at 6:30 p.m.
“Officer Agusto Same observed the driver [allegedly] operating the car in an erratic manner and stopped the vehicle,” Fulcher said. “He was stopped and [allegedly] failed several field sobriety tests.”
Chandler was taken to Weehawken police headquarters and released after posting $500 bail, but his vehicle was impounded.
On March 10 around 11 p.m., Weehawken Police Officer Juan Mejia noticed a 2005 Bentley that was parked illegally and in a restricted area in the UBS Financial Services parking lot. According to Fulcher, Mejia did a check of the vehicle and found that it was unregistered and called for a tow truck to have it removed from the parking lot.
“At that time, the owner of the vehicle and his female companion arrived at the scene and tried to stop the towing of the vehicle,” Fulcher said. “In the process, the companion [allegedly] put her hands on Mejia and [allegedly] pushed him away from the car. The female appeared to be intoxicated at the time.”
Mejia then arrested 26-year-old Glendalis Genao of Little Ferry and charged her with obstructing a governmental function. The car was towed away.
Sometime between March 7 and 10, someone removed three ladders, two 42-foot and one 28-foot ladders, from a construction site on Fulton Street. The ladders, valued at $1,200, were property of Northeast Homeworks, Inc. of Pompton Lakes, which was doing construction on a house at the time of the theft.
Caught in the act
On March 12, Weehawken police received a call of two males operating in a suspicious manner in an alley way on Shippen Street.
“The caller said that the two men were looking into windows and [allegedly] trying door handles,” Fulcher said. “We sent two units out to search for the males, but couldn’t find them.”
However, when the search was expanded by a few blocks, Sgt. Sean Kelly observed two men that matched the description given allegedly trying to get into a house on the Union City side of Washington Street.
“A call for backup was made and the two men were arrested for attempted burglary in Union City,” Fulcher said.
The two men, 22-year-old Alb Weber of Lodi and 32-year-old Mario Cabassa of West New York, were charged with criminal attempt and possession of burglary tools by Weehawken police. The pair was then turned over to Union City police because the Union City charges were more severe.
Jim Hague can be reached via e-mail at either OGSMAR@aol.com or email@example.com