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SERIAL THEFT ALLEGATIONS: Newark Cop Charged in Disturbing Target Shoplifting Incident



By: Richard L. Smith 

A Newark cop is on the wrong side of the law after authorities in Hudson County took the young officer into custody for allegedly stealing merchandise from a Target store in late May.


After several shoppers notified our informstion center reporting seeing a man they believed to be a Newark Police officer taking items from the store on multiple occasions.

An Open Public Records Act information request was submitted by RLS Media to the Kearny Police Department. 

The information request was returned by Sgt. Michal Gontarczuk revealed that Mr. Jerson D. Peralta, 24, of Newark, was arrested on Wednesday, May 28, 2024, for shoplifting (by under-ringing) $116.68 worth of merchandise. 

The police report revealed that he has been charged with 2C:20-11B(5) Shoplifting, a Disorderly Persons Offense.

“The victim in this case is Target, located at 200 Passaic Avenue”, the OPRA police report revealed. 

Further investigation confirmed that Mr. Peralta is an active Newark police officer who had been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the charges.

He was reinstated on June 5 by Newark Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé but reassigned to the Support Services Bureau. But resuspended effective yesterday June 11, 2024 after other department reportedly notified NPD. 

Other disturbing allegations suggested that Mr. Peralta may be involved in a series of shoplifting incidents at other Target stores, including a location on Route 46 in Fairfield and other large stores in the Hudson/Essex region.

However, Sgt. Gontarczuk did not confirm a larger investigation surrounding Mr. Peralta, nor did the information indicate that the incidents occurred while he was on duty.


Local police departments, such as Bloomfield Township, have been on high alert as shoplifting incidents in their town have seen a slight increase, according to police blotter reports frequently sent to RLS Media.

Statistics from Capital One Shopping highlight the broader issue of retail theft in New Jersey and the United States:

- New Jersey Retail Theft Statistics:  

- Retailers in New Jersey lost $2.313 billion in revenue to theft in 2022.

 - New Jersey retailers lost $318.22 in sales per capita in 2022.

  - Retail theft per capita in New Jersey is 7.53% lower than the average among states (source:

- National Retail Theft Statistics:  

-Stores across the United States lost $121.6 billion to retail theft in 2023.

-Projections indicate that shoplifting could cost retailers over $150 billion in 2026 (source:

Mr. Peralta’s case remains under active investigation. These allegations are serious, but he is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.