On March 15, 2011 at 7:09 p.m., while on patrol, Patrolman John Deegan and Edward Nortrup responded to 57 West Grant Avenue (Roselle Park Middle School) for an activated burglar alarm. Dispatch advised that the alarm was activated by motion in the Media Room. Upon arrival, the officers observed two (2) juvenile males exit the building through the double-doors located on the east side of the building in the driveway. Patrolman Deegan ordered the two males to stop; one (1) male remained on-scene and offered no further resistance and he was placed under arrest. The other male, however, began to flee on foot on West Grant Avenue towards Chestnut Street. Patrolman Nortrup gave chase on foot and he was finally apprehended on Walnut Street at East Grant Avenue with the assistance of Patrolmen Gregory Polakoski and Nick Adamski.
Police retrieved a black Sentry lock-box in the backpack of the male that remained at the Middle School. The lock-box was identified as the partial proceeds from a burglary at a residence on Willow Avenue in Roselle Park that occurred the previous day on March 14, 2011. During that burglary the lockbox containing jewelry – in addition to other jewelry and cash – was taken from the home. Entry to the residence was gained by prying open a rear window. The reported value of the jewelry stolen was approximately $4,600.
Detectives Keith Wintermute, Hussam Assad, and Dominick Frino responded to process the scene.
The middle school suffered only minimal damage in the form of vandalism and an unsuccessful attempt to open a locked cafeteria refrigerator and a lunch room cash register.
Union County Sheriff’s Department K-9 responded to the school to assist in searching the middle school for any additional suspects. No additional suspects were located and the building was secured.
The two (2) juvenile males were ages 15 and 16, both from Roselle Park.
The follow up investigation by the Roselle Park Detective Bureau resulted in the recovery of a stolen Blackberry phone and a consumed bottle of alcohol. As a result, charges were filed against two (2) additional juvenile males from Roselle Park, both the age of 15. All four (4) males were released to guardians pending a Family Court hearing.
On March 15, 2011, the two (2) original males were charged with burglary, theft and criminal mischief for the middle school break-in, one of which (15 year old) was also charged with resisting arrest.
On March 16, 2011, the two (2) additional males plus the male found in possession of the lock box were charged with burglary and theft for the Willow Avenue break-in.