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Posts Tagged ‘crime’

WOODBRIDGE – Mayor John E. McCormac today announced that an 18 year-old adult and a 17 year-old juvenile from Avenel have been arrested by the Woodbridge Police Department and charged with intentionally setting fire to playground equipment at the 5th District Park and Playground located in the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township.  The April 13 fire caused more than $25,000 in damage to playground equipment and park facilities. 

 “I am gratified that the Woodbridge Police Department was able to make arrests within hours of the fire.  These arrests send a strong message to anyone who thinks that setting a fire and destroying thousands of dollars of playground equipment is simply vandalism.  We will seek the stiffest penalties possible, including restitution and community service,” said McCormac. “I would like to thank neighborhood residents – and the media – for their assistance and cooperation in helping the Woodbridge Police Department conduct a thorough and effective investigation.”

Two Avenel teens were arrested yesterday for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed $25,000 worth of playground equipment Monday night.

Two Avenel teens were arrested yesterday for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed $25,000 worth of playground equipment Monday night.

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WOODBRIDGE –The Woodbridge Township Police Department is actively investigating a suspected arson fire that destroyed more than $25,000 in newly installed playground equipment at the 5th District Park & Playground located in the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township. 

Police are investigating the fire that destroyed $25,000 worth of playground equipment Monday night.

Police are investigating the fire that destroyed $25,000 worth of playground equipment Monday night.

  According to Police Chief William Trenery, the suspected arson fire was reported to the Woodbridge Township Police Department 9-1-1 Dispatch Operations Center and the Avenel Fire Department at 9:56 p.m. on Monday, April 13.  The initial report was made by a neighborhood resident who spotted the fire.  The Avenel Fire Department responded to the scene within minutes of the report.  Upon arrival, Avenel Fire officials reported the playground equipment was fully engulfed in flames.  The fire was under control by 10:15 p.m.

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 TRENTON—An Essex County man has been sentenced to state prison for leading an auto theft ring that targeted luxury cars, Attorney General Anne Milgram and Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni announced last week. 

Saladine Grant, 34, of Newark, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Joseph P. Donohue in Union County to serve nine years in state prison, with three years of parole ineligibility.  He was ordered to pay $3,000 in auto theft fines, and his driver’s license was suspended for 10 years. 

The sentence is based on Grant’s Jan. 20 guilty plea to a charge of leading an auto theft trafficking network.  He also pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property, and one count of theft by unlawful taking.  The charges were contained in an indictment returned on Aug. 13, 2008. 

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 arrestLINDEN – At least three teens mugged a man on East Curtis Street last week, but a good Samaritan helped police capture one of them, authorities said.

The victim, a 31-year-old man, was walking on the street’s 500 block shortly after 9 p.m. on Friday, April 3. He told police that he was attacked from behind. His attackers knocked him to the ground, hit him several times in the head and took the cell phone from his pants pocket, authorities said.

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Neil Cohen

Neil Cohen

STATE – Former Assemblyman Neil Cohen’s lawyer is not entitled to review the child pornography images his client allegedly printed from his legislative computer, a state appeals court ruled last week.

The Attorney General’s office appealed an earlier decision by Superior Court Judge Gerald J. Council that required prosecutors to hand over “two digital copies of child pornography,” according to court documents.

Both the Attorney General’s office and Cohen’s lawyer, Mark Tuohey, may discuss the issue in court on June 1.

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Plea shows taint infects school system

PERTH AMBOY—Ana Pestrana, a part-time assistant recreation supervisor who is employed full-time by the city’s school district, became the second municipal employee to plead guilty to charges of using city funds to purchase items for former Mayor Joseph Vas.

Pestrana admitted in court on Monday that she used city funds to buy sneakers, beach wear and other clothing for Vas, submitting credit card receipts for those items to the Perth Amboy Housing Development Corporation between Aug. 1, 2005 and July 1, 2006.

Pestrana agreed to give up the school job as part of her plea bargain. Superior Court Judge Frederick De Vesa agreed to let her finish the year as a special education teacher at the Shull Middle School, noting that she has agreed to testify against Vas and other defendants.

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Vas Collaborators

One Admits Guilt…

PERTH AMBOY — Jeffrey D. Gumbs, who was a top city administrator under former Mayor Joseph Vas, pleaded guilty Monday to theft, tampering with public records and the misapplication of the city’s property between April 2004 and November 2005.

Gumbs, who was the city’s director of human resources and supervisor of recreation for many years, pleaded guilty to stealing about $2,500 from taxpayers in the New Brunswick courtroom of Judge Frederick DeVesa.

Under the plea bargain, the state will recommend that Gumbs be sentenced on June 26 to probation, he must pay restitution to the city and he will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.

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