Police Beat
by Compiled by Dean DeChiaro
Dec 08, 2013 | 2372 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Phony bomb threat at uptown Rite Aid

Hoboken police evacuated the Rite Aid pharmacy on the corner of Thirteenth Street and Willow Avenue on Wednesday after a store employee said there was a bomb inside the store, according to a police report. The Jersey City Police Department bomb squad and the New Jersey Transit Police Department’s K-9 unit searched the store, but no explosives were located.

According to the report, the store’s assistant manager received a phone call around 1 p.m. from someone who claimed to have left a bomb somewhere in the store, the report said. The caller demanded $2,000, apparently in return for not detonating the device, but the call was lost when the assistant placed it on hold to inform her boss. The man had a heavy Indian or Pakistani accent, the assistant told police.

Police that arrived on the scene evacuated the building and cordoned off the adjacent streets to pedestrian and vehicle traffic, said the report. The bomb squad did a thorough search of the building before giving the all clear.

The store manager was questioned as to whether there might be a disgruntled former employee who would have called in the threat, or a prank, but he could not remember. Meanwhile, the report noted that the department is working with Rite Aid’s phone service to determine who made the call.

Turkey Day throwdown

A Wallington man was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after a dispute with Hoboken police officers on Thanksgiving afternoon allegedly became physical, according to a police report.

Sebastian Sobcyk, 27, had reportedly been hanging around outside a Hudson Street bar for the better part of two hours before a subcontractor carrying supplies inside the bar called the police because of his behavior, the report said. The police report did not specify if Sobcyk had any injuries, but did note he allegedly became highly uncooperative when officers called an ambulance for him. According to the report, he allegedly began acting aggressively toward the officers and made derogatory remarks about them.

Concerned for his safety, officers attempted to coax him into working with the paramedics, but Sobcyk walked away. Police remained on the scene, however, and five minutes later Sobcyk returned, continuing to behave aggressively and wave his arms at the officers, the report said.

According to the report, police finally asked for Sobcyk’s identification, and when it became visible hanging out of Sobcyk’s front pocket, one officer went to grab it. As he did, the report said, Sobcyk allegedly shoved him and attempted to punch him.

The officer then shoved Sobcyk onto a set of nearby steps, the report said, and he allegedly retaliated by charging the officer. It took five minutes for a handful of officers to restrain him, the report said. Upon being transferred to headquarters, Sobcyk allegedly continued his uncooperative behavior.

Sweet Home Alabama?

A Washington Street resident who wired $800 to what she thought was a realtor in Alabama as a down payment on a Monroe Street apartment filed a police report alleging fraud last week, according to the report.

The apartment, which the woman found on Craigslist, was being priced at $800 per month with an $800 security deposit, said the report. The woman called the number listed on the advertisement and spoke to a man who identified himself as Frank and had a thick French accent. “Frank” agreed to send photos of the apartment, and when the woman agreed to sign a lease, he asked her to wire $1600 via Western Union to his Alabama residence. She agreed to wire $800, the report said, and when she did “Frank” responded with a photo of a FedEx shipping label for a box which he said contained a signed lease and keys to the apartment.

To confirm the package, the report said, the woman contacted FedEx, who told her that the label was real, but had not been attached to a specific package. She attempted to contact “Frank” multiple times without success, and eventually reported the alleged fraud to the police.

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