Two Jersey City youths were arrested on Nov. 19 in relation to a spate of car burglaries over a three-month period. The third suspect was arrested on Nov. 21 as a result of a continuing investigation of car burglaries throughout the north end of the city.
Angel Reyes, 18, and a 17-year-old youth were arrested after Bayonne police pulled them over near Gould Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 19 in a vehicle that was determined to have been stolen from another part of Bayonne.
Reyes is suspected of being involved in as many as 30 thefts from autos dating back to October.
One of the police officers apparently recognized Reyes from a surveillance tape near another crime scene in October, and the subsequent investigation lead to Reyes being charged in as many as 30 auto burglaries that included the alleged theft of money, credit cards, laptop computers, cellular telephones, and GPS units.
Reyes, who was sent to the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny on $100,000 bail, was also charged with using a minor in these alleged crimes.
The 17-year-old was remanded to the Hudson County Youth Detention Center in Secaucus.
Police officers Matthew Tarbett and Antonio Spano reported seeing the two youths in a 1999 white Ford utility van on Gould Street near 45th Street on Nov. 19. As they approached the vehicle, the officers reported that the driver reversed and attempted to turn around at 74 Gould Street, nearly striking the fence before causing the vehicle to get stuck on the curb where the officers approached him and asked for paperwork.
The 17-year-old was driving and allegedly claimed the van was owned by his mother. He had no driver’s license. A check of the van showed it was owned by a resident of Florida. But the officer also noticed that there was a parking permit hanging from the rearview mirror with a Bayonne address on it.
Both suspects said they lived in Jersey City. Another police unit went to the Bayonne address on the permit, and the man living there said he had parked his vehicle outside his residence, and if someone was driving it, then it was stolen. The owner said he did not know the two youths and the police deemed the vehicle to be stolen.
Other alleged thefts were uncovered as a result of a search of Reyes during which police found a New Jersey Transit pass and an ATM card that allegedly belonged to another resident, said Police Captain Walter Rogers.
The police also found $17 in loose change on Reyes, which allegedly came from the theft of other vehicles in the uptown area, most of which took place between 42nd and 57th streets in Bayonne.
Both Reyes and the 17-year-old have been charged with theft of a motor vehicle based on the alleged theft of the van. Each was also charged with one count of burglary and one count of theft. Reyes was also charged with use of a juvenile in a motor-vehicle theft.
Rogers said at headquarters that an officer recognized Reyes’s image from a surveillance video in another auto-theft investigation dating back to Oct. 21, in which someone broke into a car, stole a credit card, and used the credit card to purchase a ticket on the Hudson Bergen Light Rail.
As a result, Reyes was charged with an additional 28 counts of burglary and 23 counts of theft, two counts of criminal mischief, and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card.
Reyes also had an outstanding warrant for $100 in unpaid fines to Jersey City Municipal Court.
Police Chief Ralph Scianni commended the officers.
“This was the result of a collective effort of members of our patrol division and detective bureau,” he said. “I’m proud of their accomplishments.”
Mayor Mark Smith and Public Safety Director Jason O’Donnell called it “a job well-done.”
A third suspect, another juvenile, was apprehended on Nov. 21 as a result of a continued investigation. The details were not yet available on this arrest.
Al Sullivan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.