Employee arrested for allegedly taking purse
After allegedly trying to conceal and steal a purse that was left in the women’s bathroom at the store where she was employed, a North Bergen woman was arrested and charged with theft of lost or mislaid property, according to police.
Lt. Christopher Brignola said that on April 2 a shopper at Walmart, located on Tonnelle Avenue, decided to use the bathroom. Afterward, she continued shopping, but as she was about to check out she realized she no longer had her purse, and believed she had left it on the bathroom stall’s door handle.
The store’s security camera system noticed that Tania Vera, 42, allegedly tried to cover the purse with clothing and leave the building, allegedly hiding it in her car. Police were called to the scene, where the purse was allegedly located within Vera’s vehicle, said Brignola.
Vera’s bail was set at $2,500 by Judge Nino Falcone.
Juvenile crimes spike, now decreasing
Brignola said that since February police have noticed an influx of “serious crimes” committed by juveniles that included home burglaries, thefts, and street robberies in which weapons were used.
He said that while the crime rate hasn’t spiked, the offenders seem to be getting younger. Most of the incidents occurred in the uptown section of North Bergen, from 76th Street north to the township’s border around 91st Street.
However, since putting more plainclothes officers from the street crimes unit on patrol, and with the aid of the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office, this surge has subsided in April, Brignola said.
Brignola said that police believed many of the same teens were involved in multiple incidents and that some were friends.
What follow are two incidents involving youths:
Mom was protecting son
Brignola said that on March 12 at 8 p.m. a female resident told police that her car had been broken into overnight and that a GPS device was stolen. Ten days later, police stopped a few juveniles walking during the evening and found a GPS in possession of one of them. After calling the 15-year-old teen’s mother, Luz Figueroa-Veitia, 42, of North Bergen, the mother allegedly claimed to police that it was her GPS.
Then on the following day she visited headquarters and allegedly told them that she had “covered” for her son because she feared getting him into trouble, said Brignola. It was later discovered that this same juvenile possessed a cell phone that police believe was stolen from a West New York resident.
Figueroa-Veitia was charged with hindering apprehension while her son was charged with receiving stolen property, burglary, and theft from an auto.
Man struck with baseball bat
In an incident two months ago, a group of juveniles approached a man heading toward a gym on 90th Street and asked him to give them “everything he had on him,” said Brignola. When he told them he did not have anything on him, they struck him with a baseball bat in the hip and back. When the man was able to grab the bat, they continued to kick and punch him, according to police.
A surveillance tape caught the offenders riding away on their bicycles.
After an investigation, police were only able to apprehend one 15-year-old male from West New York and charged him with robbery, conspiracy, aggravated assault, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.