Police Blotter: Parking Meter Stolen, Pet Grooming Worker Assaulted

The following arrest information was supplied by the Belleville police department. It does not indicate a conviction.

Sept. 30

Belleville police helped apprehend two people who had fled from Clifton police in a car and later bailed out of the vehicle along Rt. 21 South.

Clifton police began chasing the vehicle around 5:42 am after a computer check revealed the license plate had been stolen. The occupants -- Christina Bianchi, 21, of Belleville and 23-year-old David Marfisi of Newark -- fled from the car after abandoning it near mile marker 7.7.

The two were later found hiding in nearby weeds and taken into custody by Clifton police.

Sept. 29

A 26-year-old Newark man was arrested on outstanding warrants after he was seen repairing his car in the middle of Washington Avenue.

Sheriff Vambah lost a tire as he drove near 95 Washington Ave. and was trying to fix the car while it sat in a traffic lane around 10:26 am. After running the car’s plates, police learned Vambah was wanted on warrants from Newark, Harrison and Elizabeth totalling $428. Vambah was released after he paid the warrants and was issued three motor-vehicle summonses.

A $900 snow blower was reported stolen from a church garage at 395 Washington Ave.

The crime was reported at 11:05 am, after a minister noticed the garage door had been forced open.

At 12:46 pm a  Malone Avenue woman told police seven checks were stolen from her checkbook and later cashed.

A printout from Sovereign Bank revealed the checks, totalling $415, were cashed between Sept. 21 and 28. The woman was assessed $215 in service fees after the bank stopped payment on the checks.

The woman told police she believed her son was responsible.


A woman called police at 5:20 pm after witnessing three Hispanic men place a parking meter in a vehicle on High Street. A parking meter was later discovered stolen from near 279 Washington Ave. 

The vehicle was described as a beige hatchback.


A man claiming to be a police officer called a Ralph Street resident and demanded cash, the  resident told police at 6:55 pm.

The caller reportedly said “I’m a police officer and if you don’t send me the money you’re going to be in big trouble.” He hung up when the intended victim said he was going to notify the police of the call. The caller had a thick Indian accent, the man also said.

A wallet was recovered and returned to its owner at 8:52 pm.

The wallet was found during Just a Party, a township-sponsored carnival, near the Wendy’s restaurant at 333 Franklin Ave. and turned over to police, who later found the owner. Sixty dollars was missing, the owner told police.

A 2002 Jeep Liberty containing hand tools and a GPS system was reported stolen at 10:09 pm.

The owner, who was going to work at Clara Maass Medical Center,  parked the vehicle at 2 pm at 1 Clara Mass Drive. The vehicle was gone when the man returned to his parking space at the end of his shift.

 A township man was arrested after he allegedly threatened a house painter with a knife at around 2:01 pm.

Police responded to the scene after a workman parked his truck on the grass near 333 Branch Brook Drive. As he unloaded his equipment, John Downey, 50, allegedly approached the workman with a knife and said he would “cut you and your tires” unless the painter moved his truck.

Downey was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and making terroristic threats. He was later released.

Sept. 28

At 11:56 pm, police received a report of an attempted burglary at 17 Jefferson St.

A woman living in a second-floor apartment at the address said her son noticed the front door entrance had been chipped. Police later found signs of attempted entry at the back door as well. Nothing was reported taken and no one is believed to have entered the home.

Sept. 27

A man told police at 6:55 pm that his daughter, a 14-year-old Belleville High School student, had been threatened by another 14-year-old girl at the school.

In a related incident on Sept. 26, a 14-year-old girl was arrested for weapons possession at the high school after school officials received a tip. When the girl was questioned at 8:23 am, a razor blade was found in her cell phone case. The girl told police she brought the blade because she feared she would be jumped by a group of girls. She was released to the custody of her mother.

Sept. 26

A 36-year-old township man was arrested after he allegedly tried to mislead police about his identity.

Jose Mier was driving near Franklin Street and Magnolia Avenue around 7:17 pm when police allegedly spotted him crossing the double-yellow roadway lines. The license Mier presented to police after he was stopped contained someone else’s picture and name. When questioned, Mier’s wife, who was in the car with him, told police his actual name, police said.

Mier was charged with hindering apprehension and was also issued motor-vehicle summonses, including one for being an unlicensed driver. He was later released.

A Newark man faces a number of charges after police said he scuffled with employees of a drug store who tried  to stop him from fleeing with nearly $300 in stolen merchandise.

Police responded to Walgreens, 345 Franklin Ave., after Joel Rodriguez, 35, allegedly grabbed 14 Gilette razors worth $263 and stuffed them in his clothing. When the manager noticed a bulge in Rodriguez’s clothing and attempted to stop him, Rodriguez allegedly pushed the manager and fled. Another employee chased after Rodriguez, grabbed him and held him until police arrived, according to a police account of the incident. Rodriguez reportedly fought with the second employee.

After he was taken into custody, Rodriguez allegedly showed police a driver’s license that did not contain Rodriguez’s name. After police ascertained his real identity and ran a check, Rodriguez was found to have nine outstanding warrants: a no-bail Essex County warrant, two from West Orange totalling $3,200, two from East Orange totalling $2,508, two from Little Falls totalling $579, and one each from Millburn and Orange, for $855 and $500 respectively.

Rodriguez was charged with hindering apprehension, possession of false government documents and robbery. He was held on $5,000 bail. 

Sept. 25

A 24-year-old Belleville man was arrested for DUI after he allegedly hit a car parked near Garden and Belleville avenues.

Police reportedly found Dennis Calderon-Rozco at the scene with a bloody nose around 1:41 am. He was given field sobriety tests after police smelled alcohol on his breath and taken into custody after failing the tests. He was later released.

A Nutley woman was arrested for DUI after she reportedly smashed her car into a telephone pole around 2:25 am.

When police arrived at the corner of Greylock Avenue and Main Street, Jennifer Tuscano, 32, was near the car and staggering, police said. After telling police she had been driving the car, officers administered field-sobriety tests and took Tuscano into custody after she failed them. She was also taken to an area hospital for treatment. After being issued five motor vehicle summonses, Tuscano was released.

Sept. 24

The employee of a pet-grooming business was nearly run over by an irate customer, the employee told police at 1:46 pm.

The incident began when the customer entered Prestige Groomer, 64 Franklin St., and asked the employee about prices. The customer then reportedly demanded to see the area where the dogs are groomed, but the employee refused.

The customer then reportedly picked up a glass tip jar, threw it at the employee and left. The employee followed the woman out to the parking lot and attempted to get the license plate number of the black Jeep Cherokee the woman was driving. As the employee stood near the vehicle, the customer quickly backed the vehicle up, nearly striking the employee, the employee told police. The customer then drove away.

Police are investigating the incident. 


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