AGO and Secret Service arrest local members of a theft ring that allegedly cost Home Depot in excess of $100,000
Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa announced in a press release dated April 5 the arrests of the alleged leader and two members of an organized theft ring that targeted around 70 Home Depot stores in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Arrest warrants have been issued for two more alleged members of the ring.
The ring allegedly conducted over 500 illegal transactions over a six-month period which cost Home Depot over $100,000 by allegedly “under-ringing” merchandise through self checkout areas in several stores per day.
The alleged ring leader, 49-year-old Julio Arriola Suarez of West New York, was arrested April 3 in Jersey City; 28-year-old David Pulgarin formerly of West New York and Union City was served a warrant April 2 at Allentown, P.A.’s Lehigh County Prison; and 30-year-old Julio Duque Barahona was served a warrant April 5 at Brocton, N.Y.’s Lakeview Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility.
Forty-eight-year-old Nicolas Arriola Cortez formerly of Union City is sought on a warrant, as is 56-year-old Javier Duque Piza who is formerly of West New York.
A joint investigation by the N.J. Division of Criminal Justice and the U.S. Secret Service was conducted with assistance from the Home Depot Corporation, which resulted in the charges, the release stated.
“Organized retail theft is a growing problem in New Jersey and across the U.S. that retailers estimate costs them up to $30 billion a year,” Chiesa said in the press release. “Our investigation uncovered a ring of foreign nationals who we allege were highly systematic and prolific in their thefts.”
All five men are charged with second-degree crimes of conspiracy and shoplifting, and Suarez faces a second-degree charge of leading an organized retail theft enterprise, the release stated.
Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison with fines up to $150,000.
Union City High School to put on ‘West Side Story’
The Union City High School Fine & Performing Arts Department presents the classic Broadway musical “West Side Story,” directed by Anthony Gusevich at the Union City Performing Arts Center, 2500 Kennedy Blvd. Performances will be held on Thursday, April 26 at 7 p.m., Friday, April 27 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 28 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. General admission is $10 and $5 for students. For more information, visit www.unioncitypac.org.
UCPAC presents ‘Songs From the Heart’
The City of Union City, Mayor Brian P. Stack and the Board of Commissioners present “Songs from the Heart,” featuring vocalist Smooth Edward on Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Union City Performing Arts Center, located at 2500 Kennedy Blvd.
Smooth Edward is a vocalist, comedian, and skilled performer who embodies a return to the tradition of the great entertainer. Smooth’s selection of music spans several generations, and includes classics like “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Time After Time.”
Admission is free and parking is available at the 23rd Street Parking Deck located on 23rd Street between Summit & Kerrigan Avenues. For more information, visit www.smoothedward.com or www.UnionCityPAC.com.
WNY Cuban Lions Club to hold annual health fair
The West New York Cuban Lions Club will hold their annual free health fair in partnership with the Palisades Medical Center on Sunday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be held in the new community room located at 515 54th St. The health fair entrance is at the back of the building at 514 52nd St.
Medical professionals will provide free general medical advice as well as free tests and screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, dental health, vision, depression, and more.
Participants will also receive free t-shirts, samples, gifts, and refreshments. All are welcome to attend.
For more information, call Manny Reyes at (201) 424-1201.
Civic Association offers free income tax service
The Brian P. Stack Civic Association will offer free income tax service to residents in need of help on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 17 is the last day to file state and federal income taxes.
Those interested may contact the association at 1202 Summit Ave. or call (201) 863-8583 to make an appointment.
Segunda Quimbamba to hold dance and drum workshops
The Hudson County Office of Cultural Affairs will offer Puerto Rican dancing and drumming classes to adults and children over eight years of age at the Cobra Fencing Club, 629 Grove St. in Jersey City. Classes will be held Sunday afternoons through June 4. Dance classes will run from 2 to 3 p.m., and drum classes will run from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Open registration will he held through April 15. Email email@example.com or call Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center at (201) 420-6332 for more information. The venue is partially wheelchair accessible and students with special requests or accommodation needs should contact Nanette Hernandez at the above number or email.