Police Nab 2 Men in Package Thefts

Hillside men were arrested yesterday for taking a package from the front porch of a on Keith Jefferies Ave. residence. Linked to other possible mail thefts.

We all know "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," but what Cranford police are trying to figure out is who else may have had packages stolen from their doorsteps recently. Yesterday, two Hillside men were arrested after cops said they were seen taking a parcel from a home on Keith Jeffries Avenue in the afternoon.

Police found multiple opened packages in a car operated by the men and believe other homes in the area were also hit based what they found in the vehicle, police said in a statement. 

A postal worker told police he witnessed the theft around 3:55p.m. on Tuesday, and described seeing the suspects drive off in a Pontiac Grand Prix after one of the men grabbed a package from the porch on Keith Jefferies Avenue.

Police believe the men were casing the street. "They actually had to turn around, return to a home with a box on the front porch, and then one actor exited the vehicle and retrieved the package," said Det. Sgt. Gerard Quinn. He said their actions, based on eyewitness accounts, were "indicative of the fact they were looking for targets." 

Daryl Evans, 23, and Najee Johnson, 21, were arrested after a brief investigation, police said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon. The same Pontiac seen at the crime scene was spotted by Officer Peter Graczyk along South Avenue East, and police stopped the vehicle near the Cranford Train Station.

Johnson was charged with theft and receiving stolen property, while Evans was charged with receiving stolen property. Since the items taken totalled less than $200, said Quinn, the pair was released but must appear in Cranford Municipal Court on Jan. 2, 2013.

"People’s decision to act on their observations led to a quick arrest and the recovery of stolen property," Police Chief Eric G. Mason said in a Cranford Police press release. "I am proud of the people in this community, " he added.

Canford police said they are holding several packages obtained from the suspect's car. Police are asking that anyone who is missing a package delivery call Det. Michael Andrews at 272-2222.


that anyone missing delivered parcels contact Detective Michael Andrews at 908-272-2222.

Tom December 20, 2012 at 08:20 PM
This is a precursor and warning for what the Birchwood development will bring to Cranford! Let it be known that the residents of Cranford will eventually be burdened because of someone else's greed. Down with Birchwood!
Cranford Dude December 21, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I am not surprised that Mason's comment. He mentioned how proud he is of the people in the community. There is no mention about the cops that serve the community. If it wasn't for the cop that found the car, this would of ended in another unsolved crime. There is one thing I am proud of. I am proud that Mason is not a member of my community, CRANFORD! So Eric, lets sever all ties to Cranford and retire. Let Chief Wozniak fix what of broke.
Jim December 24, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Looks like both of these men were arrested (together) in Fairfax Virginia in November 2011 for trying to pass forged travelers checks at a target. Google the names and "fairfax county target". It's kind of depressing that people are willing to steal from others, particularly around the holidays like this.
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