The reason may be the economy, said Jeff Fulcher, deputy chief of the Weehawken police. Four different alleged shoplifters were arrested at the Pathmark Supermarket at 4100 Park Ave. between July 2 and July 5. They range in age from 19 to 66 years old. Most of the incidents were reported by Pathmark security.
“Now that surveillance systems are the norm rather than the exception, most stores have upgraded security systems,” said Fulcher. “It’s proved to be very beneficial in catching thieves and shoplifters.”
Francisco Fernandez, from 43rd Street in Union City, was arrested July 2 for allegedly trying to remove beauty products from the supermarket. He was charged with shoplifting and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Upon a search, police discovered a substance believed to be heroin allegedly in the perpetrator’s possession, Fulcher said. The alleged drugs were an amount that was considered to be for personal use and not for distribution.
Police said that Fernandez allegedly told them that he had a contact in the street who would buy the beauty products. Fernandez did not provide a name.
Police found that Fernandez had some outstanding warrants in another jurisdiction, so he was also held on those warrants.
“He was processed by us and will also be taken to the other agencies,” said Fulcher.
The 44 year-old Fernandez was arrested at 11:31 p.m.
Other incidents included:
July 2, 10:52 p.m., James Rodriguez, 19, of Union City was allegedly attempting to take $46.26 in merchandise. Rodriguez also had warrants in North Bergen for his arrest.
July 5, 9:14 p.m., Francisco Rodriguez, Union City, was arrested for shoplifting after he was observed by Pathmark security allegedly walking out of the store with $252.39 worth of merchandise.
“Sometimes, certain items are stolen to be resold because there’s a buyer for them.” – Jeff Fulcher
Weehawken police said that since the recession began, the incidents of shoplifting have been steadily increasing. However, Fulcher said this many incidents in a short time was a very rare occurrence.
He also mentioned that some potential thieves might use baby carriages to conceal items, while others might actually try to walk out with a cart of items.
Other times, thieves can walk into a store with plans to steal certain kinds of items, such as pharmaceutical products or beauty products.
“Sometimes, certain items are stolen to be resold because there’s a buyer for them,” Fulcher said.
Melissa Rappaport may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org