On August 18, 2020 officers responded numerous times to the Santander Bank located at 532 Pompton Avenue for suspicious activity. The first incident occurred in the early morning hours when an officer observed a suspicious BMW with New York license plates leaving the bank parking lot. This vehicle was later involved in a theft from a bank branch located in Bloomfield. A second incident was reported at 9:14 a.m. when the branch manager reported four males acting suspicious around the ATM when he opened the bank. The subjects left prior to police arrival leaving behind a prepaid debit card. Officers responded back to the bank at 1:34 p.m., on a report of suspicious activity around the ATM. The manager reported that a subject had just left the ATM and entered a vehicle. He provided a description of the vehicle which was located and stopped. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of three males from New York. They were found to be in possession of multiple credit cards, a large quantity of cash and more than 5 ounces of marijuana. They were all processed and released with a summons to appear in Superior Court. The incident appears to be connected to a wide spread ATM scam that has occurred at numerous Santander Bank branches in the tri-state area. The FBI is involved in the investigation.
On August 12th, 2020 at 1am a Westview Court Resident reported a suspicious vehicle lurking on the street. Officers began to check the area. Officer Johnson located the vehicle in the Highpoint Complex. The vehicle was traveling on the wrong side of the roadway. Officers attempted to stop the suspects. The vehicle fled out of the complex and headed toward Route 23. The vehicle a black Hyundai was occupied by three younger males and one female. Officer chose not to pursue due to the risk to the workman in the roadway while in the roadway paving on the highway. However further South Verona PD was able to assist getting the license plate and pursuing the vehicle into West Orange. It was lost crossing Eagle Rock Ave. It was found that the suspect had been trying car doors on Westview Court. The Hyundai was reported stolen out of Belleville.
Later that evening on August 12th, at 3:45am Little Falls PD reported that they were in pursuit of suspicious vehicle traveling at 100 mph South Bound on Route 23 in Cedar Grove. The vehicle was traveling toward the Route 23 roadway paving operation. Little Falls PD was advised of the workman in the roadway and immediately terminated the pursuit. A short time later the vehicle crashed on Route 23 near the intersection of Claremont Avenue in Verona. Four to five young males fled on foot from the vehicle and were later apprehended by NJSP, Verona, Cedar Grove, and Montclair Officers. The five suspects were transported to Little Falls PD. The vehicle had been reported stolen.
On August 16th, at 1am an Eileen Drive Resident reported an attempted motor vehicle theft. Officers began to check the area. Sgt. Rodriguez located a black Honda CRV in the newer section of Eileen Dr. The vehicle was occupied by three young males. When Sgt. Rodriguez attempted to stop the vehicle it fled down Vincent Road toward Route 23. The vehicle turned North Bound on Route 23 toward Little Falls. Officer Grawehr pursued the vehicle briefly however the officer was unable catch up to the car. It was last seen travel into Little Falls exceeding 100 mph. We suspect the Honda had been stolen out of Wyckoff and was pursued earlier that evening by Mountain Lakes P.D. for burglary.
Great job by residents reporting the suspicious vehicles. Please continue to lock and remove keys and valuables from your vehicles. It will the deter thefts and discourage the behavior. If you should observe suspicious activity or a crime, contact police immediately. Do not investigate or confront the actors on your own. Chief J. Cirasa
On Friday, May 29th, 2020 at 7:51 am, the Cedar Grove Police received a 911 call reporting a unresponsive male at a Forest Hills Way residence. Upon arrival, police found the male not breathing and going into cardiac arrest. Atlantic Ambulance arrived moments after the officers. Together, police and Atlantic EMT’s immediately initiated CPR, and AED protocols. A LUCAS Chest Compression Device was applied. Chest compressions were performed. The rescuers regained the subjects pulse and continued to assist his breathing. He was subsequently transported to Mountainside Hospital in critical condition. He remains hospitalized however it is reported that his condition has vastly improved and he is expected to recover.
“I am extremely proud of the manner in which all the first responders performed. It was the combined timely effort taken in those first critical minutes that saved this person. The police department now operates two of the mechanical chest compression devices. The units have been instrumental in saving Cedar Grove lives. I would like to thank the Manager, Mayor and Council for their support by providing these state of art devices to us. ”
Chief J. Cirasa
TOWNSHIP OF CEDAR GROVE
525 Pompton Ave, Cedar Grove, New Jersey 07009
BEWARE OF SCAMS
If you have just withdrawn money from your account in the form of cash or a cashier’s check. Please be aware that scammers are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been targeting our elderly population. There are a variety of scams being attempted, some examples are as follows:
The BAIL BOND Scam – The criminal will call the victim on the phone and explain their grandchild was arrested. The criminal may or may not provide the grandchild’s name. In some cases, a person was placed on the phone pretending to be the grandchild as proof they were arrested. The criminal will ask that you post (give) a sum of money in order for the grandchild to be released from jail and ask for your home address to pick up the money. Please be aware, the criminal may give you instructions on what to say to a bank teller if he/she questions you on why you are taking out the cash. The criminal may also instruct you to act upset and angry or to tell the bank employee that it is none of their business as to why you are taking out the money.
The IRS scam – The criminal will call the victim and tell them that they owe the government money and if you don’t pay you will be arrested. To avoid being arrested you must pay your debt by way of a MoneyGram or gift cards. Understand, the IRS will NEVER call you and pressure you into settling your tax debt with a MoneyGram or gift card.
These are just two of the MANY scams currently being conducted via telephone, internet and email to honest people such as yourself. You have worked very hard for your money, so please do not give up your money so easily to these scammers. These scammers are trying to upset you into impulsively handing your money over to them. If anyone calls, texts or emails you that you do not personally know looking for money, call a relative, a close friend, or call the Police. Another person not directly involved may have a better perspective on the situation and be more likely to see through any potential scam attempt.
The Cedar Grove Police Department is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you have any questions. If so, you can call (973) 239-4100 and press “0” to speak to an officer. Help us help you from falling victim to these scammers.
Remember if you should observe suspicious activity or a crime, contact police immediately. Do not investigate or go looking for the actors on your own. This delays notification to the police who may be around the corner.
It is with deep regret and sorrow that I, Chief Sheila Byron-Lagattuta and the entire Glen Ridge Police Department announce the passing of our beloved Officer Charles “Rob” Roberts. Officer Roberts, badge #69 is the first line of duty death within the history of the Glen Ridge Police Department, established in 1895.
At the age of 45, Rob fought a courageous battle against COVID 19 and passed away on May 11, 2020 at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He had been hospitalized there for just shy of three weeks after members of his own squad and our volunteer ambulance squad came to his aide. The doctors and nurses at both Mountainside Hospital and Lenox Hill Hospital all acted in valor to save his life.
Officer Roberts was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, and joined the Glen Ridge Police Department in 2000. He settled in Glen Ridge, where along with his wife Alice, they raised their three children. Officer Roberts was the face of the Glen Ridge Police Department and a shining example of an officer dedicated to serving the community.
Officer Roberts worked tirelessly at keeping our community safe and I can say with certainty that he was known by face or name by both children and adults alike after serving the Borough for twenty years. Many were privileged to have met Officer Roberts in his official capacity as a bicycle officer, certified car seat installer, DARE/LEAD instructor. He held the honor of being the most senior officer within the patrol division and served as a detective and a field training officer within the department. Rob never missed an opportunity to support law enforcement races such as the Law Enforcement Torch Run which benefits the Special Olympics and the Tunnel to Towers Run honoring the lives of first responders lost on September 11, 2001. Rob was a mentor within the department and the entire Borough; and today we have truly lost a hero to all.
The loss of Officer Roberts has extinguished the presence of a pillar and staple within the law enforcement community and the Borough of Glen Ridge. Despite our loss, the ever-lit green front porch lights at headquarters will continue to serve as a beacon for those in need. Rest easy our brother in blue, you will never be forgotten and have left a permanent mark on each life you have touched. To have known you is to have loved you.
Please continue to keep Officer Robert’s family, friends and members of our department and all first responders impacted by Covid-19 in your thoughts and prayers. EOW: Monday, May 11, 2020
Alarm Activation Reveals Burglary of Unoccupied Residence.
The incident began on April 16th, 2020 at approximately 9:30 PM. Cedar Grove Officers responded to an Eileen Drive Residence on the report of an activated intrusion alarm called in by central station. As Cedar Grove Officer Connor Grawehr responded he noted a white mini-van traveling on Route 23. When Officer Grawehr arrived on scene he observed that the front door had been forced open. Simultaneously the resident, who was away, notified police his door bell camera had captured three masked males entering his home and remove property. The assisting units were advised of the forced entry and the possible suspect vehicle description. That information was transmitted to surrounding towns and a perimeter was established around the home. Verona and Little Falls Police Departments assisted. Checks for suspects inside were negative. The master bed room had been ransacked. Taken were two firearms and jewelry. The doorbell video revealed the three suspects wearing masks and gloves removing the property from the house. Additional video from neighbors revealed a suspect vehicle, a white or silver mini-van. The suspects were undaunted by the sounding alarm spending only minutes inside the home. The investigation is ongoing. This is the second incident occurring in that neighborhood this month. Extra patrols have been directed into that area. Anyone with additional information or surveillance video please contact Det. Sgt. Robert McDermott at 973-239-4100 X258 or by e-mail email@example.com.
Understandably we are all a bit distracted by the current crisis. However please stay alert. Report all suspicious activity immediately by calling 911. Never investigate on your own and do not dismiss your suspicions. Attached are two images in an attempt to identify or locate additional evidence.
Chief J. Cirasa
Please be advised that Governor Phil Murphy has ordered the following effective Monday, March 16, 2020.
Closure of ALL pre-K, K-12 schools, colleges, and universities beginning 3/18
Closure of ALL casinos, racetracks, theaters, gyms
Closure of ALL non-essential retail, recreational, & entertainment businesses after 8:00 PM
Banning gatherings of 50+
All bars and restaurants are closed for eat-in services effective 8:00 PM tonight. After 8:00 PM, these establishments may open for takeout and delivery services ONLY, until further notice. These restrictions exist during daytime hours.
All pre-K through grade 12 schools (public, private, and parochial) and all colleges and universities will close effective Wednesday, March 18th until it’s deemed by health officials to be safe for in-person classes to resume.
We’ve worked closely to ensure that the overall educational and individual needs of students can be met during this closure, including appropriate home instruction and continued access to free and reduced meals.
Starting tonight, all non-essential and non-emergency travel in New Jersey is strongly discouraged between the hours of 8:00 PM AND 5:00 AM. This will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. We want everyone to be home – and not out.
Essential businesses which are necessary for the public’s health, safety, and welfare – like supermarkets and grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices, and gas stations – may remain open past 8:00 PM.
Effective 8:00 PM tonight, all movie theaters, gyms, casinos, and racetracks will close entirely until it is deemed safe for their reopening. Online gaming will continue.
Effective tonight, all other non-essential retail, recreational, and entertainment businesses MUST CLOSE after 8:00 PM. During daytime hours, these businesses may remain open if they limit their occupancy to no more than 50 persons and adhere to social distancing guidelines. All gatherings of over 50 individuals are CANCELED effective 8:00 PM tonight. We do not take any of the steps we’ve announced today lightly. We know that these will impact residents and families, communities, and businesses. But our paramount concern is to #FlattenTheCurve – these steps will ensure we do not overload our health care system.
John G. Donnadio, Esq.
New Jersey Association of Counties
Government Finance Officers Association of New Jersey
150 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08608
Telephone (609) 394-3467