Montclair Crime: Safe, Gold Bars, Gun, Coins and Vehicle Stolen From Gates Avenue Home

A burglary at a Gates Avenue home while a family was away for the weekend, as well as thefts and vandalism, in the latest Montclair police blotter:

Police responded to the 100 block of Gates Avenue of a burglary report on May 27. Officers were informed by the homeowner that they left for the weekend on Friday, May 24th at approx 11 p.m. When they returned on the evening of the 27th, they discovered their front door broken and the home burglarized. Entry was first attempted by ripping through the screened patio door. A side door was then damaged but entry not gained. Suspect(s) then came around to the front door and broke a pane of glass on the door and unlocked it. A heavy two foot by two foot safe (value $2000) was stolen. The first floor was heavily damaged from the safe being dragged across the floor. The safe contained the following:

– A Rolex Watch
– Unknown amount of Gold Bars
– A Commemorative Coin Collection with an unknown amount of coins with an unknown value
– A German Luger handgun

Also stolen from the driver way was his blue 2002 Audi S4. The keys to two of their other vehicles, another Audi and a Corvette, were missing from the home but the vehicles had not been stolen. Anyone with information contact Det. Gulbin at 973 509 4739.


On 05/27/2013 at 1107 hours, officers responded to the rear parking lot of a Willowdale address on a report of items stolen from a motor vehicle. The vehicle owner informed officers that he parked his white 2005 Chevrolet Express work van in the lot on May 26th at approx 2200 hours. When he checked the vehicle this morning at about 1100 hours he found the back window had been smashed and power tools taken from the van. Missing were a Rigid brand chop saw valued at $550.00 & 6 Milwaukee brand drills with a total value of approx $1500.00. Anyone with information contact Det. McCarthy at 973 509 4725.

On 05/30/2013 at 1218 hours, officers were responded to 20 Glenridge Avenue on a theft report. Officers met with the building management who informed them that a metal storm grate was stolen from the east side of the parking lot between 0800 and 1000 hours. Anyone with information contact Det. Cunningham at 973 509 4716.

On 05/30/2013 at 1723 hours, officers took a walk in theft report. A Montclair resident informed officers that her son’s Apple iPhone was stolen from his back pack as he worked out in weight room. The bag was on the floor in the weight room.

On 05/31/2013 at 1832 hours, officers responded to the YMCA on Park Street on a theft report. The caller informed officers that he placed his bag down on a bench in the locker room to use the restroom. When he went back to his bag and looked for his iPhone it was missing.

On 05/31/2013 at 1913 hours, officers responded to the YMCA on Park Street on a theft report. The caller informed officers that her son had his iPhone stolen from his gym bag. He had placed the bag in an unsecured locker.

On 06/01/2013 1228 hours, officers responded to a Union Street address on a stolen bicycle. Officers were informed by the caller that his 5 yr old silver TREK mountain bike was stolen from the common basement area of the apartment complex. The incident occurred between1600 hours on May 19th and 1225 hours on June 1st. Suspect broke the lock and the gate hinge on his wooden storage locker and removed the bicycle.


On 05/28/2013 at 0930 hours, officers responded to the Department of Public Works on North Fullerton Avenue on a report of graffiti. Officers observed the word “STOOGE” written in black spray paint on the outside exterior wall on the south side of the building.

On 05/28/2013 at 0930 hours, officers responded to the Clary Anderson Arena on a report of graffiti. Officers observed the word “STOOGE” in black spray paint on the north exterior wall of the arena.

On 05/28/2013 at 1221 hours, officers responded to the 100 block of Gordonhurst Avenue on a report of graffiti. The directed officers to a gazebo located at the north entrance of the property. The word “STOOGE” was again written in black spray paint on the top right portion inside of the gazebo. The incident occurred between the 27th and the 28th of May.

On 05/30/2013 at 0953 hours, officers responded took a walk in report of damage to a motor vehicle. The vehicle owner informed officers that he parked his vehicle on May 29th at 2100 hours in the driveway of Bright Hope Baptist Church on Mission Street. When he returned to it at 0900 hours the next morning the driver’s side door lock had been damage. It appeared someone attempted to pry the lock open. Entry was not gained and nothing was missing.


On 05/28/2013 at 1655 hours, officers responded to the CVS pharmacy on Valley Road regarding a shoplifting incident. Officers arriving were informed by the shift manager that an older black female had just left the store and had been involved in a previous shoplifting at the store. Given a description officers stopped a party fitting the description in the area of Alvin Place. A check for outstanding warrants revealed two out of the Linden ($2,000) and Elizabeth ($405) New Jersey. 56 yr old Norma Walker of Linden was taken into custody without incident and held for pick up.

On 05/31/2013 at 0944 hours, officers responded to the Radio Shack at 35 Lackawanna Plaza on a shoplifter being detained. Plaza Security informed officers that as suspect exited the store the alarm went off. Security observed him concealing a large amount of store merchandise under his shirt. He was stopped and found to have 9 pairs of Skull Candy headphones. 45 yr old Robert Fields of Newark was taken into custody and charged with shoplifting. Bail was set at 15000 with not 10% option.

On 05/31/3013 at 1730 hours, officers responded to the area of 15 Church Street on a subject harassing people in the area. Officers were directed toward 26 yr old Chas Garland of Montclair. Witnessed stated he was loud and harassing patrons shopping in the area. When Mr. Garland was approached and a strong odor of alcohol could be smelled on his breath. He was also loud and spoke in an irate manner. A warrant check was conducted and a $300 warrant out of Belleville was found. He was taken into custody and a search incidental to arrest revealed a small bag of Marijuana. He was issued a summons for possession of the Marijuana. Belleville Police gave him a new court date to appear as they were unable to pick him up and Mr. Garland was released pending his court appe


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  1. On 06/01/2013 1228 hours, officers responded to a Union Street address on a stolen bicycle. I guess it’s quicker than walking over.

  2. Might be wise to have a very active Alarm system if you are going to be keeping Gold Bars and a German luger in the home

  3. I have a story to tell about both the absence of reporting and the utter ineptitude of the Montclair PD and the robbery ‘unit’ along with several other parties failure to behave professionally.

    Several months ago while my home was listed for sale by Century 21 realtors – my home was targeted by thieves as a result of the sign being posted out front and the perpetrators calling the realtor and determining that the homeowner/occupant was not home.

    When I returned home after having dealt with the realtor’s abysmal ‘stagers’ insistence on moving furniture and having my life inconvenienced for months I found that the front door. FRONT DOOR, which faces North Mountain Avenue and the park was KICKED IN in broad daylight on a Sunday.

    My home was ransacked – jewelry, cash, electronics and heirlooms were stolen. I called the Montclair PD. They were admittedly responsive and brought the forensics unit. They ‘dusted for prints’ but I have no idea what they came up with and quite honestly with the house on the market there were alot of foreign prints so I didnt expect much. Needless to say I was upset but here is where the story gets amazing.

    One item stolen was a never used credit card, as in I had it for years but never used it b/c it was tied to a bank account and I use a different card exclusively (points etc but i digress) In any event, the card was used the same evening and I was alerted to 2 denied purchases in Union City, NJ.

    Naturally, I asked what merchants and the contact info so I could assist in the investigation and apprehension of the theif(ves) – this is what anyone in law enforcement or intelligence would easily call a HOT lead.

    As it turns out one of the denials was at a liquor store and for some reason I know that all liquor stores in NJ are required to have surveillance video.

    I went to the Montclair PD with all the info and spoke to a desk officer. His response to this easily actionable intel was that ‘we don’t have a detective assigned to this yet’ So apparently no crime can happen on the weekend. I alerted him that I would be acting on the information and that he should be aware.

    I went to the liquor store and explained my situation and asked to see the surveillance tapes from the night before. The owner obliged and I found several images of the thief of my card (and probably other items) on the tapes when synching up against the reported time of the attempted transaction. Unable to take the tapes I took several photos of the screen with my phone.

    I then reported all this info to the Montclair PD. I now have an actual PHOTO of one of the thieves (or at least someone involved with them) along with probably the neighborhood where he operated.

    They went to the liquor store and claimed they couldnt operate the surveillance unit. Whatever. I presented them with the pictures from my phone.

    Nothing was ever resolved. I got some money from insurance (about 1/4 the value)and had to pay a deductible for door replacement and repair so lost money on the settlement there. Overall crappy experience all around.

    I also severed my relationship with Century 21.

    Just thought fellow Baristavillers would like to know.

  4. This is an astonishing chronicle of ineptitude on the part of the Montclair police department and Century 21 realtors. I assume you sold your house and moved out of Montclair, Northmountain? As a fellow (or former) resident I’m all the more discouraged/alarmed.

  5. Anybody who is keeping a significant amount of gold in their house without security (cameras, intrusion alarms, etc) is asking for trouble.

    The robbers presumably knew there was something of considerable value as they dragged the safe and removed it. That’s a lot of work based on the hope there’s something of value in it.

  6. In my opinion, I’d say that a kid that lives in this house mentioned to a friend that his parents have gold bars in a safe. The wrong person heard and like insider trading, took a very calculated risk and scored big time

  7. Stolen gold bars, multiple shootings, coyotes, bears. Scary stuff, but Montclair can deal, nothing is more scary than our inept town council.

  8. “As it turns out one of the denials was at a liquor store and for some reason I know that all liquor stores in NJ are required to have surveillance video.”

    False statements like that will get you nowhere with police.

  9. “all liquor stores in NJ are required to have surveillance video.”

    How long have you been checking me out pat gilleran? I’m flattered by your consuming interest.

  10. Speaking of surveillance, I wonder if Baristanet is participating in NSAs PRISM program.

    In the event they are. Hey Barak, sup?

  11. responding to a comment on Baristanet is “checking you out” sheepy?? Boy do lead a restricted life.

  12. Does anybody SERIOUSLY think the MPD is hiding behind some bushes on No. Mountain Ave? If you’re selling your house and having it “staged” put your valuables in a safe deposit box and don’t blame the police.

  13. For the random naysayers on this thread. I am not BLAMING the PD nor did I have any expectation for them to be hiding in the bushes. I simply was illustrating that even when provided information directly related and easily acted upon there was a disconnect.

    Considering the increased robbery activity posted on Baristanet it seemed relevant.

    To the point of ‘hiding valuables’, they were hidden, well hidden, to the point where items were removed from a closet inside a walk-in closet, hinting that the robbers potentially had been inside before (further to the realtor points)

    Secondly – I am not ‘making a false statement’ about the surveillance tapes and even if it were untrue this particular liquor store DID have video records of the thief along with the time and date of transaction. What possible gain would be made from this ‘false statement’? The nuance may be that liquor stores in NJ can face a fine if they do not have tapes in place. It’s probably just good practice to have a system at any retailer to deter theft and I’m betting there is an insurance benefit to it as well but I don’t want to go too far and make a ‘false statement’.

  14. I believe I read about Newark enacting a liquor store camera law a bit ago, so a law exists if not on the state level (so you’re not crazy lol). This does reek of an inside job and it is disconcerting when the low hanging fruit goes unpicked when this is an over incarcerated state for non-sense. Makes ya feel real safe, especially since you’ll be the one in jail if you were to shot one of these “actors”.

  15. It’s beyond comprehension why someone is so hung up on the law or no law which is incidental at best.
    Enjoy your studio apartment ‘sheepy’. I hope no one ever steals your Kindle.

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