Fair Lawn businesses have fallen victim to a wave of thefts in recent weeks.
In the nine-day span from Dec. 7 through Dec. 15, Fair Lawn police reported eight thefts, including six that took place inside or right outside of local businesses.
Of the three recent incidents that began as alleged shoplifting attempts at the Shop Rite on River Road, one developed into an alleged robbery on Dec. 13, after Kiva Tate, 45, of East Orange, allegedly attempted to force her way past Shop Rite security with several containers of baby formula concealed in her purse, according to police.
Due to her struggle, Tate was arrested and charged with robbery, rather than mere shoplifting. She was also charged with hindering apprehension by providing a false name. Police found multiple active warrants out for Tate, who according to police records has gone by as many as 10 different aliases. In lieu of $20,000 bond, she was remanded to Bergen County Jail.
Both of the other alleged shoplifting attempts at Shop Rite – on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, respectively – also netted arrests.
Also on Dec. 8, police responded to the Healthy Way Group on Maple Avenue for a reported theft -- not of store goods but of an employee's belongings. According to the victim, her book bag and purse – which contained cash and several pieces of identification – were taken from the back of the store between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. while she was working.
In addition to people allegedly lifting or attempting to lift items from inside stores, both the Pathmark supermarket and CVS pharmacy on Broadway reported thefts of milk crates from outside of their establishments on consecutive days – Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 – according to police.
In the first incident, a Pathmark employee reported seeing a man taking milk crates from the loading dock and placing them into a white van before driving off. A day later, 150 milk crates were reported stolen from the loading dock at the Broadway CVS. The crates are estimated at about $5 a piece.
Detective David Boone said police often see a spike in thefts during the holiday season, but added that he attributed recent local incidents more to the depressed economy.