New Jersey Wacky Crimes of 2007


Registered User
Of all crimes, these take the cake (or at least icing)

Mystery of the nibbled buns and other oddities marked year of misdeeds in northern N.J.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ron Hough had a supermarket mystery on his hands, one of 2007's odder petty crimes in Morris and Warren counties.

Someone was eating the tops off the Entenmann's cheese buns and lemon cakes in the Succa sunna ShopRite. For several months, Hough, who is the store manager, and workers found open boxes of those partially eaten treats tucked behind the laundry detergents and cereals.

The culprit also was nibbling Entenmann's pastry at the nearby Randolph A&P, leaving the manager there just as perplexed.

Then, one April day, some employees at the ShopRite noticed a shopper with incriminating evi dence all over her hands.

The woman, 42, admitted she had eaten pastry tops at each store some 20 times. She blamed her behavior on bulimia and said she couldn't help herself when she was in a supermarket.

The thefts added up to $400, but police gave her a break and didn't charge her.

Others who played starring roles in 2007's strange or ill-conceived crimes and misdemeanors weren't so lucky.

Take Israel Matias. Police say he was smoking marijuana and using cocaine at a Super Bowl party in Rockaway when he sud denly got a craving for milk.

That's why, police said, he entered the house next door, walked past the homeowners, opened their refrigerator, grabbed a milk carton and started chugging as an angry audience surrounded him, yelling and demanding he leave the house.

The 25-year-old Dover man was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, police said. His case was transferred to Superior Court and is still pending, according to authorities.


At a Long Hill supermarket in January, a spat erupted over shelf space for bread, pitting the Wonder Bread guy against the Arnold Bread guy. One of them squeezed the other deliveryman's loaves.

Police were called after Wonder Bread deliveryman Luis Arita, 39, of Union allegedly pulled out a pocketknife and told his adversary he was in big trouble if another loaf was touched.

Arita was charged with aggra vated assault and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. He later was allowed to enter a pretrial intervention program, authorities said.


In nearby Hackettstown in April, Jerry Mahaffey Jr. wound up in trouble, police said, for sitting at the computer in the middle of the night, naked and drunk, surfing the Web for porn.

This isn't a crime, unless you do it in the home of a complete stranger.

Mahaffey, 26, was charged with trespassing, lewdness and public intoxication. His case is pending.


Frank Gunderman learned an important lesson in Mansfield Township in April: If you crash your car during a police chase, don't ask a policeman for a ride back home.

Gunderman, 20, of Phillipsburg was stopped for driving 80 mph in a 45 mph zone on eastbound Route 57, then sped off from the officer, sparking a chase.

The car, a white 2006 Nissan four-door that had been stolen out of Phillipsburg, was later found crashed on the shoulder of eastbound Route 57. A police officer who arrived in an unmarked car to check out the scene was approached by a man who was wet from the knees down.

The man asked for a ride back to Phillipsburg before he realized the guy behind the wheel was a police officer.

Gunderman was arrested and charged with speeding, driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an acci dent, failing to report an accident, receiving stolen property and elud ing police.

Gunderman ultimately pleaded guilty to speeding and reckless driving. Criminal charges were transferred to Superior Court.


Kyle Lewthwaite was stopped by police last month for driving without a buckled seat belt. He knew he'd be going to jail if the Washington Township patrolman who stopped him figured out he was a wanted man. So Lewthwaite phoned in a fake bomb threat to the local middle school, and eluded arrest.

An hour later, police figured out what he had done and arrested him at his Washington Township home, authorities said, noting he erred by using his own cell phone to make the call.

Lewthwaite was charged with causing public alarm, making a false 911 call and terroristic threats and hindering his own apprehension, police said. His case is still pending in court.

John Fleming certainly did not hinder his own apprehension.

Following an argument with another driver over a parking space in a Route 10 lot in East Hanover, Fleming followed the driver while dialing 911.

Patrolman Tom McPartland, who responded to the call, smelled the scent of raw marijuana wafting from the car when Fleming rolled down his window to talk to the patrolman.

It seems Fleming, a 39-year-old West Orange florist shop employee, had two ounces of pot packaged in 12 plastic bags when the car was stopped on Ridgedale Avenue last May.

He was charged with possession of over 50 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

The other motorist involved in the parking lot spot spat was not charged.

Fleming ultimately was sen tenced to two years' probation.


Finally, one of 2007's weirdest of public safety episodes happened in October in Dover, where terrorists were put on notice: Don't mess with gumball machines in this tough Morris County town.

Three Dover officials said they were worried militants might try to poison the treats, and they began a nine-month inspection of Dover's coin-operated gumball and candy machines.

Police Chief Harold "Butch" Valentine said the gumball, jaw breaker and chewy sweet-tooth community had no reason to panic.

"The gumballs are safe," he said, noting the odds that candy machines would be targeted by terrorists are so remote, "you'd probably win the lottery first."


Registered User
This made me lol because I went to school with the Fleming dude. He always had a closet full of mason jars full of weed. Why the fuck would you call 911, dumbass.

Dopie Opie

Registered User
What about the one where the governor and state trooper were speeding and not wearing seatbelts.....


Lingering since 1999
This cracks me up becuase I lived in 2 of the towns in this report, and my wife lived in another one of the towns.