arrested three people on charges that include armed robbery and weapons counts after on-duty officers spotted one of the victims chasing his assailants. Moments earlier, a teenager held a knife to a 31-year-old Jersey City man’s chest on Monroe Street while a companion took $145 in cash and a cellphone. They took off, but so did the victim.
Officer Bernardo Munoz and John Cirillo quickly joined the Thursday afternoon pursuit and snatched the 17-year-old juvenile, whose identity was withheld because of his age.
Meanwhile, Officers Nicholas Burke and Vito Gigante chased the other man into a building on 9th Street and arrested him. Police identified him as 25-year-old parolee John Patrick Prins — aka Kevin Johnson — of Jersey City.
Brought in for questioning, the two identified a third associate, Travis P. Reilly, 18, of Edgewater.
“They gave the other one up,” said Detective Lt. Mark Competello.
Police found a pellet gun used in two other holdups this week in the boy’s bedroom, the detective said.
Reilly and the juvenile accosted a 29-year-old resident shortly before 10 p.m. Monday on 7th Street, with Reilly pointing a handgun at him and taking $15 in cash, an iPhone, and a Coach wallet that held the man’s credit cards and identification, police said.
Then, around 9:10 p.m. Wednesday on Grand Street, the boy pointed the same handgun at a 44-year-old deliveryman for Pita Grill, threatening to kill him. The victim put $200 in cash and a cellphone on the ground, and the robber fled with them.
Thanks to two local businesses, police have video from both Monday’s holdup and later that night at a 14th street service station showing both Reilly and the boy using one of the stolen credit cards, Competello said.
Having officers on the street and merchants willing to help police made a huge difference, the detective said.
“We do the best we can to prevent [crime] by being proactive,” Competello said.
Maggie Behringer, a highly experienced local reporter, covers Hoboken for CLIFFVIEW PILOT . She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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