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Off-Duty Cop Nabs Burglary Suspect Wanted in Union, Hillside

Hillside Union Township (Union)

An off-duty lieutenant who’d just left police headquarters spotted a man he recognized as wanted and made the bust.

According to authorities, on August 13th at about 6 p.m., Lieutenant Robert Christie was leaving police headquarters after his shift when he spotted a man in Union Center that had recently been in a recent crime alert from a neighboring town. 

Officials say the lieutenant contacted the Detective Bureau for additional information and conferred with Detective Lieutenant Mark Martin, who responded to the area with Detective Sergio Pereira. 

According to authorities, the officers ultimately stopped the individual in the area of 934 Stuyvesant Avenue as he exited the rear of an office building. The man was reportedly found in possession of a large screwdriver, but no other tools. 

Responding detectives responded to the office building and checked it for signs of a crime. Police say Officers Luis Santiago and Antoine Colbert found an office that had been forced open and found a video surveillance system in that office that showed the suspect breaking into the office. Officers Colbert and Santiago found three additional offices that also had damaged doors from attempted forced entry.

Officials say the arrestee - later identified as Karriam Kennedy, aka Kareem Hawkins, 42, of Newark - was charged with the burglary and the damage to the other offices, possession of the burglary tool (the screwdriver), and obstruction of justice. He was sent to the Union County Jail and will have a bail hearing set.


Detectives determined the suspect had numerous criminal arrest warrants and took him into custody. 

In addition, it was later determined that the man resembled a person wanted in a burglary in Hillside last month.