Alleged extortion for iPod leads to arrest

NORTH BERGEN AND BEYOND – An 18-year-old of North Bergen was arrested this week on charges of conspiracy and theft by extortion after he allegedly stole his friend’s iPod and then demanded $400 from the victim for it, according to Lt. Christopher Brignola.
Brignola said that on April 8 police were contacted by a 15-year-old North Bergen resident and his mother.
The victim claimed that he had been hanging out with Jason Martinez, 18, of Cliffside Park, on 79th Street and Broadway, when Martinez asked to see his iPod. After he handed it to him, Martinez allegedly took off running into James J. Braddock Park.
When the 15-year-old victim called Martinez’s cell phone later, he allegedly told him to call another number and speak with an unidentified person, said police. When he did so, that person allegedly demanded $400 in order for the device to be returned.
When Martinez met with the 15-year-old the next day at the same location they had been hanging out at, he allegedly took the money in exchange for the iPod.
Martinez was arrested on April 14 at 10 p.m. and his bail was set at $25,000 with no 10 percent bail bond option by Judge Nino Falcone, which Martinez was unable to post.
The investigation is ongoing, as police are still seeking to identify the second individual involved, Brignola said. Tricia Tirella

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