UPDATE: Two Incidents Of Robbery By Gunpoint in Montclair Last Night


UPDATE – Police Make Arrest in Gunpoint Robberies:

Montclair Police along with East Orange Police located a subject matching the description given by the two victims. This suspect, Almid K. Edwards (19yoa from East Orange) turned over an iPhone 5, which was determined to be proceeds from the Lackawanna Plaza robbery. Mr. Edwards was placed under arrest by East Orange Police and charged with Receiving Stolen Property, for having this stolen iPhone in his possession in their jurisdiction. Through investigative efforts, the Montclair Police Department was able to positively identify Mr. Edwards as being the actor in these two robberies. On 08-18-2014 at 1445Hrs, Montclair Police Department took custody of Mr. Edwards, charging him with: 2 Counts Robbery, 2 Counts Weapon Possession, 2 Counts Weapon Possession For Unlawful Purpose, 1 Count Aggravated Assault. Mr. Edwards is being held on $75,000 bail.

A 22-year-old Newark man was robbed at gunpoint last night, around 10:30 p.m., at Lackawanna Plaza. The suspect, described as a black male in his 20s, 5’9, thin build, with short black hair, approached the victim with a black cloth covering the lower half of his face. The suspect was brandishing a silver colored handgun. The suspect demanded the victim’s money and cell phone. The victim turned over his iPhone 5 in a blue case. The suspect then fled eastbound on foot, according to Lt. David O’Dowd, Detective Bureau Commander.

Around 11:45 p.m., a 22-year-old male from West Orange reported being the victim of an armed robbery on Elm Street near Bloomfield Avenue. This victim stated that a suspect, matching the same description as the prior robbery, approached him on Elm Street. The suspect was again brandishing a silver handgun with a bandanna over his mouth. The victim advised the suspect that he did not have any money on his person, at which time the suspect punched him in the neck. The suspect then fled on foot, south on Elm Street.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective J. Schaub at 973-509-4726.

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  1. Have we all become so complacent that this robbery with a gun doesn’t make people scared and afraid? Where are the police? It isn’t the first time this has happened and where is the so called police action in this neighborhood? This doesn’t make anyone feel safe nor should it. But………..no one comments!!! Come on folks take action and complain! Show that you care!! You don’t say anything because it is in the 4th ward? Crap! You should care no matter which ward it is in because it is Montclair.

  2. Where are the police? Are you serious? You watching what happens to police when they attempt to do their jobs these days? This burglar would become a martyr in a matter of minutes if the police tried to take him down and it went south, while the police would be portrayed as jack-booted thugs. I can’t fault them one bit for staying out of the fray in this current climate. Not one bit.

  3. So, montclairdad, what do you propose as a solution? Allow the stabbings, the shootings and etc to continue so the police will not have to deal with it all? You seem to advocate that nothing be done. That the police should just stay out of the lawlessness. If that is allowed to happen then our community goes downhill quickly and the lawless rule the day. I truly understand your thoughts and how you got there but…………….. I support our police but I also support our community. Ideas? I look forward to them.

  4. I wish I had the answers for you claremont. It’s going to take somebody a lot smarter than me to figure out solutions. Look at NYC. I know this seems rather simplistic, but crime was up in the 70s and 80s – people complained the cops weren’t doing their jobs. Crime went down in the 90’s and 00’s – people complained the cops were being too militant. Crime appears back on its way up under the new administration over there, so I’m sure we’ll be hearing about how cops aren’t doing their jobs again relatively soon.

  5. Rather than assuming silly propositions of someone who’d oppose a solution ceasing to make hypothetical assertions and pointing out the obvious conclusion made by observation of this account would make it seem there was not an overlap of policing in the area in which this criminal took advantage of. That being said hysterics and ruminations on chaos are unwanted because they are not only symptomatic of crime, but of someone who cannot resolve to come to terms with reality and allow for a solution.

  6. “You watching what happens to police when they attempt to do their jobs these days?” – Please tell me that you don’t think that shooting the unarmed is actually police doing their job.

  7. Unfortunately, the 4th ward was written off generations of town councils ago. No one really cares about it. If they did, the situation down there would be far better than it is now. Most in Montclair like to pretend the 4th Ward doesn’t exist.

  8. I am a proud Fourth Ward native born at St. Vincents on Washington St, an architectural masterpiece by Montclair’s finest designer Dudley Van Antwerp. This historic building as well as the even more historic Washington Street YMCA across the street were demolished by “the powers that be” possibly… because the Fourth Ward has a bad reputation according to them and therefore not worthy of respect and preservation. These current “powers that be” give no importance to 4th Ward History and especially to African American History. They should be LARGELY ashamed of themselves. (buldozing down that building while plowing over open graves… then naming the school Bullock and relegating all of its history to a room…. what about Hortence Tate director of the YWCA who used to have Langston Hughes come to read poetry to the children… do they teach that at Bullock? I’m sure they dont even feel its important. Or do they display a copy of Don Miller’s Freedom Mural hanging in the National Library in Washington painted in a studio in the Fourth Ward…no …thats nowhere to be seen in town …… these are very important American History learning tools, made in Montclair that are ignored…and this negligence is a very sore subject and cause for much dismay for me and others…I always keep bringing it up… I know)

    The Fourth Ward is no more dangerous than anyplace else in Essex County. There have been gun incidents committed recently on Northfield Avenue, Short Hills and even Essex Fells. Whats most important is to be alert about your safety because it could happen ANYWHERE!

  9. Frank, you are grossly delusional if you think that safety in the 4th Ward is the same as everywhere else in Essex County. Rarely do we hear of the drive by shootings, car jackings, armed robberies and such in neighboring towns like Cedar Grove, the Caldwells, etc… crime can happen anywhere but the 4th Ward seems to have the bulk of it. There are much safer neighborhoods than the Mission, Elm, Pine Street area. Your and others’ “there’s no crime in the 4th ward, nothing to worry about” mentality is particularly irritating as it has a sense of classist elitism that refuses to acknowledge a problem in an otherwise picture perfect false sense of reality.

  10. “classist elitism” is just empty bull… crime happens everywhere….and it all must be addressed everywhere commeastureately (sp)

  11. frankgg – I was also St. Vincent’s born. Redrum’s accusation of “classist elitism” typically ineffective finger pointing tactic.

  12. So glad to hear that, silverleaf…. others here have said that too…we’re like a little St Vincents Baby club! The public library has a remarkable collection of vintage photos….most remarkable are the nun’s hats that make the “Flying Nun’s”habit seem like nothing out of the ordinary. They wore head dresses that seems like white starched linen 1950s TVs…complete with antenae… and with their faces polking out. (like you were talking to someone on TV!!) What was even more scary was that they were not allowed to administer pain relievers because of their religious order. So when a woman gave birth at St. Vincents… no anestesia and scary looking nuns… but the building was gorgeous!

  13. Frank, thanks for the memories. Yes, its design was a thing of beauty.

    I remember St. Vincent’s to be very much like the hospital scene in “The Godfather” when Michael visits his father.

  14. “The Fourth Ward is no more dangerous than anyplace else in Essex County”

    Maybe not the 4th ward as a whole…but that mission/pine/elm street area is dangerous (3 shootings last year? one this year? this knife robbery and some more stuff that does not happen too often elsewhere in town) and to deny that will only make the problem worse. Unfortunately the people there need constant police presence (the lookout tower/partol cars always on that lot) to maintain safety. Something not needed in pretty much any other other part of town. It’s not a good place to live or walk around or have a business that people will want to patronize and Baskerville as their rep and those who live there who are not criminals and want a safe place to live need to step up more and make those streets safer for their families.

  15. Pete, the mission street area is patrolled but its not “flooded with cops.”

    My point is that the area in question is one of the most densely populated areas of Montclair. There are a lot of people who live down there who cannot afford the lofty standards of our estates in “UPPER” Montlcair but are forced to live in substandard conditions that are in stark contrast to the rest of the town. Various mayors and council slates, even the 4th ward’s own rep, had made dozens of empty promises about community policing, substations, and “no more violence.” However the status quo continues, and no one seams to care. “Mixed” attendance at the Nishuane Jazz festival does not indicate a lack of crime or a commitment to making the 4th Ward a better place to live. Why no one has taken up the “separate and not equal” cause of yesteryear is strange. Instead, like many posters on this board, the assertion that the community needs more policing and more effort is grandstanded against with the empty threat of racism.

    There is a crime problem, it is not on par with every neighborhood in Essex county. Some are worse, but most are better. There are not drive by shootings on Highland Avenue. The MPD, Council, Mayor, and residents need to stop taking the “its the 4th ward, who cares” approach.

  16. “Why isn’t Mission Street flooded with Cops 24/7?”
    Because we’re already complaining about militarized police, which in essence what your asking for; and I’m totally against. Why not throw electric fence around the area? The solution is hard because it takes the good people there to take a stand….even against their sons and daughters. I lived in an apt on Pine street back in the 80’s with the same rep as far as crime….and didn’t have a problem with my neighbors. Community policing and people that live there saying no more is the solution.

  17. sillyphus,redrum
    Sorry, Not buying it.It is not substandard conditions or lack of hugs that cause people to act like thugs.
    I do not think an electric fence is required, however aggressive Policing to make the area uncomfortable for thugs is a good thing.
    This might help the”Good People” who live there.

  18. “The solution is hard because it takes the good people there to take a stand….even against their sons and daughters.”

    I agree with this 100%. Until the “good people” (those who are not criminals and want a nice, safe place to live) in a crime ridden area take that stand, nothing will likely change. They are the ones who need to work to make their neighborhood nicer, maintain it, vote in reps who care about them, demand good policing and – most importantly – keep an eye on their kids and their neighbors kids and guide them.

    The good but sad part of the Montclair story is that the kids there have access to the same high quality schools all of our kids have access to. The parents have access to the same services we all do too and there are some services specifically for the poor which is expected in a liberal town like this. But they themselves need to be the ones to take the stand – not to blame the town government, police or some absentee landlord – but to demand from themselves, their families and their neighbors the committment to do what is necessary to make their own neighborhood a better place to live.

  19. “But they themselves need to be the ones to take the stand”
    True…but in the harsh reality of the circumstances these childrens’ good “adults” probably wish that they could do more to improve their quality of live, but are dealing with their own overwhelming real life issues…like paying bills on time and battling to prevent utilities from being cut off… working more than one job at miserable pay that consumes most of their time and energy and not to mention time spent day and night on waiting on public transportation to get them to and from jobs. The good “adults” who are giving their whole lives to try to provide a serene life and good education for their kids are probably all maxed out on their time, energy and money and at point how much energy is left to take a stand…They may be trying to do the right thing as responsible adults but they are like prisoners with their hands tied…. and just think how overwhelming sad and traumatizing it is for these over worked adults when they see their kids getting into crime and trouble. Lets not forget the good kids that have to deal with the bad adults…. what more can they do than just be silent witnesses…dodge violence and just try to hang in there.

  20. Where does it say cops can’t shoot an unarmed person? If an unarmed person is trying to take a cops gun away from him, where does it say they can’t shoot this person to stop the threat?

    Here are examples:

    This is just one example. You can see how fast a cop can be disarmed and his own gun used against him. Does a cop have to wait until a person actually, physically has a weapon in his/her hand before he has the right and duty to protect himself? Funny how everyone hates cops…until they need one. People complain, “Where are the cops?”. Last I checked it’s impossible to put a cop on every street corner in this town. Instead of asking where the cops are, ask, “Where are the parents of these thugs?” or “Why doesn’t our Criminal Justice system hand down some real sentences?”

  21. “Where does it say cops can’t shoot an unarmed person?”

    —good lord. this is what it’s come to in this country…

  22. “The solution is hard because it takes the good people there to take a stand….even against their sons and daughters.” If they are not willing to take a stand they are part of the problem not the solution. Tolerance of crime enables crime, no?

    I have talked before about the prospects of gentrification and potential property values in this neighborhood.

    Would anyone be interested in a large scale crowd funding venture to accomplish this? Slugs of say $25k with a target raise of 10MM so 400 investors.

    The approach would be to buy the homes at mortgage amounts, short sale amounts or even current market value (which is far less than potential) and either level or gut renovate. Finding the owners, negotiating px etc would be time consuming and costly but the point is the current value of these properties is so far below potential there is plenty of room.

  23. Given the $$$ possibility… it would perfer to be able to help out the good adults with educational expenses….thats $25k better spent….for gift cards for books and technology…. money to pay off tuitions and pay back student loans… education should be free and for everyone but its not. Even Cooper Union, where I went to school, charges tuition now. My greatest dream of wealth would be to be able to pay off educational expences and student depts from those who are struggling (and to remain anonomous while doing so as to not distract from whats really important….education) Mary McCleod Bethune, lived at the Darden House on Orange Road in the Fourth Ward for a while..Dr. Darden permitted her to do so because she sold her home and posessions to fund the college that she set up. She even baked and did bake sales to raise cash for her school. Bethune believed that “Education sustains life.”

  24. Maybe “blaming the town” shouldn’t be dismissed. Blame is the wrong word because I believe the municipal government’s desire and intentions are are in the right place. However, I think when you review the track the Township is pursuing regarding the economic development component, there maybe other opportunities to pursue.

    For example, the Township has 4 designated Redevelopment Zones (ANRs) and a Transit Village. Each ANR’s Redevelopment Plan is eerily similar in the goals & strategies calling for every ANR to be comprised of mixed use development with a heavy emphasis on residential units (several plans are due to be rewritten). The Lackawanna ANR is a possible location for a new, combined municipal complex which will not create new jobs.

    From an economic POV, we may want to reconsider these objectives. For example, maybe the Lackawanna ANR should instead promote commercial and light industry to create greater sustainable employment compared to the heavy reliance we place on retail and residential utilization. Maybe not. But, I think it is time to have another conversation to affirm these ANR land use & economic development objectives to parallel the neighborhood’s priorities.

    We also have the Special Improvement District. While its purpose is important, it places an additional tax on mixed use property owners and business membership fees. Should it be excluded from ANRs?.

    I don’t know the answers, but the town’s land use & development plans probably need to be clearer and better aligned to the neighborhood economic development priorities.

  25. The town’s land use & development plans have proven to be a failure anyway over the last decade and especially right now …..so they have to be scrapped and re thought by more capable individuals. Its certain that they need to be clearer and better aligned to the neighborhood economic development priorities in EVERY neighborhood and especially in the Fourth Ward.

  26. “Given the $$$ possibility… it would perfer to be able to help out the good adults with educational expenses….thats $25k better spent”

    – Naive at best, but no one is stopping you. Private investment in this area is a real solution, I have yet to hear a viable alternative.

  27. “—good lord. this is what it’s come to in this country…”

    Read the NJ Attorney General Guidelines for Use of Force, specifically Deadly Force


    Yes, this it what it came to. Thugs, criminal and gang bangers no longer respecting the law of the land, their own neighbors and life in general, yes, this is what it’s come to sadly…

  28. @austin:

    you are a monster. the good news is you are also a coward, spouting paranoid gibberish anonymously. that’s what this country’s come to…

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