The incident began Saturday, February 20th at 02:46 am, when an alert patrol officer observed a male subject sitting on a guardrail along Ridge Road. Officer Michael Passafiume initiated contact with the subject and while doing so he notice a cardboard box containing several packs of Lava E-Cigarettes. The box was partially buried in the snow on the other side of the guardrail next to the subjects backpack. The 18 year old subject, later identified as Julian Lopez of Cedar Grove, claimed the E-Cigarettes were not his and couldn’t provide a reasonable explanation for his actions. He was not entered as missing nor were there were any outstanding warrants. Additionally Lopez refused any assistance, so contact was terminated. The E-Cigarettes were secured as recovered property.
On Saturday, February 20th at 7:02 am, officers responded to 597 Pompton Avenue, the Krauzers Store, on a report of a burglary and theft that had occurred overnight. The proprietor reported missing lottery cash and E-Cigarettes.
On Saturday, February 20th at 11:25 am, officers responded to another 597 Pompton Avenue Store, Sonny’s Yogurt, on a report of an attempted burglary that had also occurred overnight. Unknown actor(s) had entered through an AC unit/vent on the roof in an attempt to gain entry into the business.
Cedar Grove Detectives responded and processed the both scenes. Evidence collected including shoe prints and store security video footage revealed sufficient probable cause that Lopez had committed the burglaries. An arrest warrant was authorized by the Essex County Prosecutors Office and a Cedar Grove Municipal Court Judge. He was charged with Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief.
On Saturday, February 20th 2021 at 5:30 pm Detectives and Officers then responded to the subject’s residence where he was arrested without incident. The accused was processed and subsequently transported to the Essex County Jail to await a bail hearing.
“The officers’ actions were key. The subsequent thorough investigation in conjunction with the diligence of the Officer Passafiume clearly enable this agency to bring this investigation to a successful conclusion”.
Chief Joseph Cirasa
All persons charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The Cedar Grove Police Department requests that the public report all suspicious activity observed, as it occurs. The police department non-emergency telephone number is 973-239-4100 and in cases of emergency 9-1-1.