• This Is Rutherford

Police Blotter - 5/6 - 5/12: Did you not believe us when we said to lock your car doors?

Monthly RPD Reports can be found here. New: April Activity Report


This is Rutherford publishes incidents that the public may find interesting or informative. The Blotter represents a small fraction of the total calls the RDP responds to regularly. The following information was provided to TIR by the Rutherford Police. All suspects are presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Incidents involving juveniles will not be published.

**Wednesday, May 8th - Thursday, May 9th - 5 Car Burglaries, West Van Ness, Montross and West Newell**

5 vehicles were burglarized on the West Van Ness, Montross Ave. and West Newell between 10:00 pm on May 8th and 8:00 am on May 9th. Various personal belongings were stolen from unlocked cars, including a wallet and sporting goods.

Officers are actively patrolling the town at night. RPD advises all residents to lock your cars, do not leave your keys in the car and try to park in a well lit area. When possible, enable motion sensor lights on your property. Please review any surveillance camera footage you may have daily and contact RPD immediately if you see something suspicious. If you suspect your car has been burglarized, DO NOT touch or drive your car - notify RPD immediately otherwise you may ruin anything of evidentiary value.


Saturday, May 11th - Dispute, Montross Ave

A complainant reported that while his neighbor was having tree work done on their property, branches off a tree on his own property were cut without his permission. The neighbors said the branches were hanging onto their property and they were within their rights to trim them. He was upset that the ground crew told him to “shut up” upon complaint. He then returned to RPD to say the company was cutting the roots of a tree on his property. RPD investigated and the neighbor and tree company said they were not doing anything to harm his trees. The neighbors were taking down trees on their own property and replacing them with “green giants”. RPD advised both homeowners that the state of the NJ Supreme Court decision WEGENER v SUGERMAN. In this decision, the court held that “a landowner may lawfully cut overhanging branches of trees or branches, but may not destroy the tree or hedge on the neighbors land.” RPD advised the initial caller that if he was not satisfied he’d have to take it up with a proper attorney. Both the homeowner and tree company stated they would not knowingly do anything to damage anyone else’s trees.


Friday, May 10th - Suspicious Person, Montross Ave

At approximately 11:00 am, an RPD officer witnessed a 39 year old male from Clifton urinating on the side of Temple Beth El. The accused stated he was working construction on the property and he went ahead and urinated on the building. A summons was issued.


Thursday, May 9th - Disorderly Conduct, Monona Ave

RPD received a call of a fight-in-progress at approximately 9:45 pm. Upon RPD arrival, an off-duty RPD detective who happened to be in the area was already on scene. While the off-duty detective did not witness the actual altercation, he had witnessed a 25 year old male from Wayne standing over the victim (a 21 year old Rutherford resident) who was on the ground. He was able to restrain the aggressor until marked units arrived. The victim notified the officers that he was kicked multiple times and 10 minutes prior to the incident his father contacted him asking him to come home because the Wayne man was at their house looking for him. When the 21 year old Rutherford resident arrived, he went to shake the Wayne man’s hand who then picked the victim up, slammed him to the ground and kicked him. Neither would explain to officers what the incident was about. The victim was advised how to sign complaints. The victim refused medical attention and a summons was issued to the Wayne man for disorderly conduct.


Thursday, May 9th - Suspicious Person, Wood Street

At approximately 1:10pm an off-duty officer from a neighboring jurisdiction notified RPD that there was a notification on his Ring which prompted to him to follow up and see a black or hispanic male with a thin build, dark blue sweatshirt and khaki pants walking through the area looking at packages on his neighbors’ property. He then fled down the street.


Thursday May 9th - Property Found, Park Ave

An anonymous person walked into RPD stating they found a purse on Park Ave. Information inside the purse allowed RPD to notify the owner who was relieved and retrieved her property.


Wednesday, May 8th - Suspicious Incident, Park Ave

At approximately 10:50 pm, a caller reported multiple youths running on the roof of a building near 36 Park Ave. Officers checked with negative results. Witnesses said the youths fled west on Ames Ave.


Wednesday, May 8th - Property Found, Park Ave

Someone turned in a hard black VisionWorks eyeglass case with 2 pairs of wireframe glasses found on Park Ave. Please contact RPD at 201-939-6000 X 1 if you believe it to be your property and are able to correctly describe it.


Tuesday, May 7th - Odor Complaint, Washington Ave

Anonymous callers reported to RPD about a group of people smoking marijuana at a home near Washington School. RPD responded and spoke to the three people renting the house: a 19 year old from Staten Island, a 21 year old from Suffern, NY and a 22 year old from Staten Island. The 3 renters told RPD they were celebrating finals week at Felician University. RPD observed approximately 40 males and females in the driveway of the home playing music. Officers did not report any odor of marijuana at the time they arrived. The residents of the home were advised of the borough noise ordinance and they said they would shut down the party on their own. The 3 were also advised of the complaint of usage of suspected marijuana in the area and were reminded that marijuana use and underage consumption of alcohol is illegal. The 3 stated that more individuals than were invited arrived and they would shut down the party on their own volition. There were no violations witnessed.


Tuesday May 7th - Theft, Hobart Ave

A 48 year old female resident of Hobart Ave contacted RPD and stated somebody stole her daughter’s bicycle on May 6th at 7:30 pm. She was able to review her security camera footage which revealed a white or hispanic man enter her yard and take her purple Mongoose mountain bike that was left on her patio. Neighbors’ Ring doorbells showed 3 unknown males in the victim’s yard. Two of them had possession of bicycles and the third did not until he reappeared with the purple bicycle in question. She says her children’s friends saw the bike on Tryon field in the possession of other children they did not know on May 9th. They attempted to question the unknown kids, but they rode away in the direction of East Rutherford.


Tuesday, May 7th - Suspicious Incident, Ridge Road

A 49 year old male complainant sent an email to Chief Russo regarding exterior cameras on a house next to is mother’s house which he believed were pointing into her yard or bedroom window. He thought the camera placement was a “bit creepy” and reported that the neighbor told his mother that the neighbors are “watching, listening and recording” what his mother does in her backyard. The man didn’t want to get the neighbor into trouble but wanted to inquire as to the laws about video and audio recordings and privacy laws. The man was provided the NJ statute for harassment.