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Police Blotter-6/24- 6/30: An unlocked car is no place to keep your gift card collection

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 Incidents involving juveniles will not be published.


Sunday, June 30th - Criminal Mischief, Park Ave

Caller reports unknown party broke his window between 2:00 pm on June 29th and 9:00pm on June 30th. Officer Caughey responded and noticed a plexiglass window of the caller’s basement broken. No entry was gained to the building and it was possible the window was damaged during the storm on June 29th.

Saturday, June 29th - Storm Damage, North Side of Town

There were 17 calls related to the storm on the afternoon of June 29th. Damage included a tree down, limbs down, property damage and traffic sign damage on or around Ayer Place, Washington Ave, West Erie Ave, Courier Place, Yahara Ave, Wood Street, Carmita Ave, Chestnut Street, Milton Court and Irving Place. Private property damage included damage to a car, patio furniture and fencing.

Saturday, June 29th - Noise Complaint, Grand Ave

A 54 year female called to say her 87 year old mother who lives in Rutherford reported she heard an unknown ringing coming from downstairs at approximately 11:14 pm. Officers responded and found the noise coming from a newly installed malfunctioning doorbell. The apartment superintendent was notified.

Thursday, June 27th - Suspicious Person, Clark Court

A caller reported his 26 year old son called him to say there were 2 females sitting on the community stoop of the apartment complex he owns on Clark Court at approximately 11:30 pm. The son asked them what they were doing and they said they were visiting a friend, but could not provide a friend’s name. The son says he knows all the tenants. Officer Donovan responded and reported the people in question were actually a male and a female, and that they lived next door. The neighbors advised the officer that they have had issues with the son in the past. The neighbors were advised how to sign harassment complaints.

Thursday, June 27th - Fraud, West Erie Ave

On June 25th, a 58 year old woman reported she received a message on her computer advising her she had been denied access to her Facebook account due to incorrect password attempts and had therefore become locked out. The message told her to access her account after 24 hours. She tried waiting until June 27th and tried again with negative results. She then began an internet search for “issues with facebook” through which she found a phone number which she thought could help. She called 1-800-279-1380 and a male answered who provided his name as “Marcus.” He spoke with an Indian accent and he advised her that her Facebook account was blocked because it was “hacked.” The victim reported that Marcus stated he needed her date of birth, email address and last 4 digits of her credit card. She provided him all the information. He also gave her another phone number, 1-805-420-1410, in case they were disconnected. She also received a text from the phone number 1-805-335-6353 advising her that her account was activated on multiple devices. At some point in the conversation, Marcus told the victim to activate a $100 Google Play gift card in order to have her Facebook account activated. She complied and activated it from a local CVS. He then instructed the victim to activate another 3 Google Play cards for $100 each. The reasoning, he advised, is that she had “3 more Facebook accounts in 3 states, and needed one card per state.” She complied and again activated the gift cards at CVS. Marcus then told her he needed 2 more gift cards at which point she refused and became suspicious and disconnected the call.

Officer Reed contacted the numbers in question with negative results and only received a message saying it was disconnected. She contacted her local TD Bank and advised them she purchased the cards with a TD Bank card which she then canceled. The victim was provided an ID theft handout about scams.

Thursday, June 27th - Noise Complaint, Clark Ave

A 66 year old female reported loud music coming from a house in the area at 4:14 pm. Officer Merlo reported residents on Clark Ave. having a social gathering at their pool. He advised them of the complaint and residents stated they would turn down the volume.

Wednesday, June 26th - Theft, Hobart Ave

A 54 year old Pine Brook resident stated an unknown party stole and cashed her checks. The caller lived on Hobart Ave until her house was foreclosed on in December 2018. When she vacated the property, she left her PNC Bank checkbook behind. By the time she realized she had left it, the bank had hired a company to clean out the residence. On June 26th, she received a notification from PNC Bank that her account was overdrawn. She stated she contacted PNC Bank and they had informed her that 6 checks had been made out in the amount of $500 each to a female’s name from Schamokian, Pennsylvania. The checks were deposited via a mobile app. The caller advised the bank she had not authorized the checks and they agreed to freeze her account and would conduct an investigation. Officer Donovan was able to make contact with the accused who stated she had no knowledge of any checks being deposited into her account via a mobile app. Throughout the investigation, the suspect agreed to come RPD headquarters to voluntarily speak to Officer Donavan then decided not to. The situation is still being investigated.

Tuesday, June 25th - Noise Complaint, Felician Way

At approximately 11:18 pm a caller reported an alarm with a low battery chirping coming from Felician University. A Felician employee was dispatched and confirmed they were able to reset the alarm. The following day on June 26th at approximately 6:25 pm another Wood Street resident reported a beeping sound coming from the Milton Court dorms. The caller said he had called Felician previously but they did not do anything. Officer Steinel was dispatched and confirmed an alarm was malfunctioning. Felician University said an alarm company would respond following morning. Felician security reported they could temporarily silence it.

Tuesday, June 25th - Dispute, Rutherford Ave

A 21 year old female from Flemington operating a 2014 Volkswagen GTI stated she was the victim of road rage and almost struck on Rt 3 East by a 2010 Jeep Cherokee. She had stopped at the stop light at Rutherford Ave and Park Ave, the accused, who is described as a thinly built female with long dark hair, spit on the passenger’s side of the vehicle and then struck the passenger, a 26 year old male from Rumson, with a glass bottle. The passenger refused medical attention. The caller was advised on how she can file a complaint. Attempts to contact the person who is believed to be a North Arlington resident came up negative. The investigation is ongoing.

Tuesday, June 25th - Theft, Union Ave

A caller reported an unknown party stole $500 from his local medical practice between 1:45 pm on June 24th and 10:00 am on June 25th. He stated he had kept money and checks in the same place for several years. His $500 cash was missing and all of the patients’ checks still there. He is uncertain who would have done it, but observed the door to his office was ajar while was he was in an exam room with a patient.

Tuesday, June 25th - Aid & Assist, Rutherford Ave

At approximately 3:04 am, RPD responded to the Lyndhurst/Rutherford border near the Renaissance hotel to offer Lyndhurst Police support with reports of a man with a hammer outside of the hotel. The individual was on foot and soon a separate 911 call was reported about the man at the intersection of Rt 3 west near Rt 17 hiding behind a traffic barrier with a hammer. RPD and LPD located the individual at Rutherford Ave and Orient Way. The male party was compliant and taken into custody by LPD and later determined to be an emotionally disturbed. The 41 year old from Elmwood Park was transported to a local hospital. Upon RPD checking hotel property, it was determined that the man had broken the rear windshield of a 2016 Toyota Camry from Maryland with his hammer. The owner of the vehicle located in the hotel who confirmed it was new damage and stated nothing missing.

Monday, June 24th - Suspicious Incident, Wood Street

A 46 year old male from Rutherford reported having an altercation with an unknown female while he was exiting his vehicle outside his residence just south of Fairview Ave. at approximately 10:52 pm. He was approached by an unknown white female in her early twenties wearing a black shirt and black pants. She seemed disoriented and grabbed at the resident. He said he pushed her away and she walked away east on Fairview Ave. Neither person was injured. While speaking to the resident, the man’s 61 year old female neighbor approached Officer Caughey and said she had spoken to the unknown female just prior to the incident. The woman was disoriented and looking for directions to 7/11 in East Rutherford. She provided directions for 7/11 and the train station but did not contact police at the time.

Monday, June 24th - Suspicious Incident, Wood Street

At approximately 10 pm, a 19 year old female from Carlstadt reported that she had been at the 7/11 on Jackson Ave and after making her purchase, she left her cell phone on the counter. She drove away and realized about 5 minutes later that she had left it behind. She returned as soon as she realized it was missing. The employee does not recall seeing it and the Find My iPhone app had already been disabled. Inside her phone case was her drivers license, social security card and 7/11 debit card.

Monday, June 24th - Burglary, Springfield Ave

A 37 year old male reported his 2016 Mazda was parked unlocked in his driveway while he went on vacation. An unknown party entered the vehicle between 4:30 am on June 21st and 12:22 pm on June 24th. Upon his return he noticed the following gift cards missing from a gift card holder he kept in his center console: Cheesecake Factory for $25, Home Depot for $50, Jersey Mike’s for $10, On The Border for $25, Wendys for $25, and Texas Road House for $25.

Monday, June 24th - Criminal Mischief, Park Ave

A 62 year old male from the 400 block of Park Ave reported punctured rear tires of his 2005 Jeep. He doesn’t know who would have done this and has no problems with anybody. It would have happened between 2:00 pm on June 22nd and 10:40 am on June 24th. The rear driver’s side had 1 small puncture and the passenger side had 2 small punctures. Each tire’s value is approximately $110. This has happened multiple times to his car in the past.

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