NB Captain aides UC Police, nabs alleged bank robber
Quick cooperation between several police departments helped Union City police nab Victor Vazquez, 62, of West New York, after he allegedly fumbled a robbery at a Union City bank and then allegedly robbed a bank in Guttenberg.
According to Union City Police Chief Charles Everett, Vazquez entered TD Bank at 4312 Bergenline Ave. just after 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 and allegedly handed the teller a note demanding cash.
“He never actually got any money,” explained Everett, who said that after the teller refused to give Vazquez funds, Vazquez fled in a vehicle.
Union City police broadcast a description of the vehicle and of Vazquez over the statewide police radio. Soon afterward, Vazquez entered the GSL Savings Bank, located at 6823 Bergenline Ave., and allegedly demanded funds, again with a note, said Guttenberg Capt. Joel Magenheimer.
Magenheimer said Vazquez allegedly received $1,400 from the bank before fleeing around 2:55 p.m.
An off-duty West New York police officer witnessed a vehicle matching the description at 51st Street and Kennedy Boulevard, Everett said. North Bergen Police were dispatched and followed Vazquez with the town’s surveillance camera system, he said.
North Bergen Police Patrol Commander Capt. Robert Hovan conducted a motor vehicle stop and apprehended Vazquez, who was delivered to the custody of Union City police.
Everette said that Vazquez allegedly robbed two other banks recently in Hackensack and Fairview.
Police said that Vazquez did not have any weapons on him.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has taken over the case and police said Vazquez will likely face federal prosecution.
UC man allegedly took money, never completed work
After a female North Bergen resident called police Wednesday, claiming that a contractor took $10,000 from her but never rendered any services, police arrested Rafael Perez, 38, of Union City for theft by deception and for using bad checks.
According to Commander of the Detective Bureau Lt. Frank Cannella, Perez had handed out his business cards for general construction across town, including at North Bergen’s Home Depot and Loew’s stores, but allegedly had no license to perform such work.
“While he was being arrested, a search [allegedly] revealed a badge and handcuffs.” – Frank Cannella
Police received notification that he would be in the area and set up surveillance around Wednesday. Perez was arrested around 11 a.m.
“While he was being arrested, a search [allegedly] revealed a badge and handcuffs as well, and additional charges will be filed,” said Cannella.
Cannella said that anyone who may have been victimized by Perez should call the North Bergen Detective Bureau at (201) 392-2092.
Perez also had warrants from for his arrest from Union City, West New York, Weehawken, Secaucus, and the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office.
Cannella said that another elderly North Bergen female resident contacted police on Wednesday about a similar incident that occurred in May.
“Perez was contracted by her to do some work in her home, whereas he [allegedly] removed her appliances from her apartment to do some work on the floor and also to do some work on the appliances,” said Cannella. “As of this moment, we do not believe he returned those items.”
Cannella said that it appeared Perez had allegedly committed theft by deception through his “business” for quite some time.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.