Montclair Police Blotter: Brawl at Popeye's, Scams on the Elderly, and More

This week’s crime report provided by Detective Lieutenant Angel L. Roman Jr., Detective Bureau Commander, Montclair Police Department, has some interesting items: scams on the elderly, vandalism in Watchung Train station, including someone defecating on the floor, and an all out brawl at Popeye’s:

Burglaries:

On 01/28/2014 at 0808 hours, officers responded to Howard and Gleek Optical on South Fullerton Avenue on a burglary report.  Another business owner had noticed the rear window shattered and the door ajar and called police.  The business was secured at 1900 hours on 1/27.  Approx 500 designer glasses (frames) estimated value, over $75,000 was stolen from the business.  Actor(s) placed duct tape on the window near the rear door locking mechanism.  The window was then smashed and actor(s) were able to reach in and unlock the door.  Anyone with information contact Det. Turner at 973 509 4724.

Thefts:

On 01/31/2014 at 0751hours, officers responded to a Cooper Avenue address on a stolen motor vehicle.  Officers were informed by the vehicle owner that she left her white 2014 Mercedes Benz warming up in her driveway briefly.  She returned minutes later to find it gone.  Anyone with information contact Det. McCarthy at 973 509 4725.

On 01/31/2014 at 1135 hours, officers took a walk in theft report.  The victim (elderly female) reported being a victim of a scam.  The victim stated on 1/30 at 1230 hours she exited the Pathmark and observed a man who appeared lost.  She offered to help.  The man claimed to be from Sudan and told her he had inherited settlement money from an uncle who died in a plane crash. He could not return to his country with the money and wanted to donate it to two charities.  At this point a second male approached and claimed to work for the government and also offered to help.  They plan was to have the victim pick the charity but she was asked to withdraw some money to show proof she was not poor and would possibly keep the settlement money.  The victim withdrew $2900 after observing the second male withdraw $8000 dollars.  All parties agreed to go to the airport where the actor claimed he would turn over the settlement money.  Victim was taken back to her vehicle.  She was told they would follow her home so she could drop her vehicle off and get back in their vehicle.  After a few blocks she realized the actors were no longer following her home.  The actors kept the $2900 she had withdrawn.  Anyone with information contact Det. Singleton at 973 509 4722.

Vandalism:

On 01/28/2014 at 1133 hours, officers responded to the Watchung train station on a vandalism report.  Officers were informed by a Department of Public works employee that between 1/20 and 1/28 two wooden supports for the old ticket booth counter had been knocked off and damaged, the toilet paper dispenser in the bathroom had been knocked off the wall and shattered, and that someone had defecated on the floor of the bathroom.  Anyone with information contact police.

Arrests:

image00On 01/29/2014 at 1239 hours, Detectives charged 48 yr old Bryant Taylor of East Orange with Theft by Deception.  Detectives investigating found Mr. Taylor was intentionally defrauding an elderly woman (84 yrs old) of approx $25,000.  Mr. Taylor befriended the victim and charged her for services (furnace repair) he did not perform.  Investigation revealed a new furnace had been installed recently.  The victim, due to age, was having trouble keeping track of things around the home.  The actor claimed he fixed the furnace and had victim pay for parts and labor. Mr. Bryant is still under investigation and more charges are pending.  Montclair police urge anyone with elderly family members to be aware of how vulnerable they are to keeping track of their finances.  Please report anything suspicious regarding care takers or home aids as the elderly are frequently victims of fraud due to their age.

On 01/30/2014 at 0045 hours, officers traveling North on Valley Road observed a 1996 white Lincoln town car failing to stay in its lane.  The vehicle then abruptly made a right hand turn without signaling at Montague Place.  A motor vehicle stop was conducted on Midland Avenue near Portland Place.  The operator was found to have outstanding arrest warrants out totaling $1300 out of East Orange and Newark.  He was taken into custody without incident.  He was issued a summons for failure to signal and transported to East Orange PD.

On 01/31/2014 at 2010 hours, officers responded to the Popeye’s Restaurant at Lackawanna Plaza on and assault that had occurred.  Officers were informed by the 2 victims that they were approached by 3 black males inside the restaurant.  A verbal altercation ensued and one of the actors stated “we don’t fight we shoot” and motioned to reach inside his jacket as thought he had a gun.  The victims were then spit on and a fight began.  The owner of the restaurant intervened and broke up the fight.  The actors then grabbed the victim’s jackets that were on a chair and fled the restaurant.  The males were described as follows:

– Black male – 16-19 years of age; 6’02” 160 pounds; wearing a green vest, light-colored hooded sweatshirt and light blue jeans

– Black male – 16-19 years of age; 6’00” 150 pounds; wearing a blue vest, dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants, possibly camouflage.

– Black male – 16-19 years of age; 5’10” 150 pounds, wearing a tan/beige vest and light-colored hooded sweatshirt with light-colored pants.

While searching the area one of the actors was located hiding in the alleyway near 204 Bloomfield Avenue.  18 yr old Elijah Williams of Montclair was taken into custody and charged with theft and disorderly conduct.  Detectives follow up investigation led to the arrest of 18 yr old Justin Davis of Montclair and a Montclair juvenile on 02/01.  Justin Davis was charged with terroristic threats, simple assault, theft and disorderly conduct.  All proceeds belonging to the victims were recovered.

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1 COMMENT

  1. I can’t believe they acted out a 419 scam in the parking lot. It’s like someone’s email thread from 2003 has been interpreted through some kind of performance art.

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