Bloomfield Police say that a Belleville man accused of
robbing a Belleville gas station at gunpoint in November also committed similar
robberies in Bloomfield and Newark.
Jose Echevarria, 31, allegedly walked into the gas station on Nov. 27 and asked for a Dutch brand cigar before allegedly pulled out a handgun, saying "give me your s**t." Police said Echevarria took between $300 and $500 in cash before running towards Newark.
Bloomfield police said that after noticing an inter-departmental alert from Belleville Police concerning the station robbery, Bloomfield Detective Sgt. Michael Sisco Sisco contacted Belleville and began a multi-jurisdictional investigation that also included Newark police.
Police from the different departments investigated similarities of the Belleville robbery to robberies that occurred in Bloomfield on Oct. 8 and Nov. 2 and compared them with a suspect and vehicle that Newark police had stopped and summonsed.
Belleville Police reportedly found a vehicle that matched video evidence from the Bloomfield robberies driven by Echevarria.
Echevarria was arrested Dec. 4 in Newark, and charged with armed robbery and possession of a handgun following a motor vehicle stop, according to a Belleville Times report.
Belleville Police arrested Echevarria for an outstanding warrant from the Essex County Sheriff’s Department and took him to their headquarters. Bloomfield Detectives interviewed Echevarria while he was detained in Belleville and say they discovered information indicating Echevarria committed the robberies in Bloomfield.
Warrants were issued and Mr. Echevarria was charged with two counts of robbery, two counts of possession of a weapon and two counts of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Judge Vincent Pirone set bail at $250,000.