News Department

‘Distract and grab’ thief pleads guilty in Sussex County

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – A Passaic County man has pled guilty to a distract and grab scam that occurred at the Shoprite in Byram Township, according to Acting Sussex County Prosecutor Annmarie Taggart.

Juan Canales, 54, of Paterson pled guilty to two counts of fourth-degree theft on Sept. 8 before the Honorable Michael C. Gaus, J.S.C. at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton, Taggart said.

Canales admitted, on two separate occasions, to knowingly stealing two different wallets from two different victims and utilizing the credit cards found within the wallets to obtain gift cards in what is called a “distract and grab” scam, Taggart said.

He scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 29, Taggart said.

These charges were made after a thorough investigation by the Byram Police Department with the help of other agencies.

Canales was represented by Matthew W. Young, Esq., and the State was represented by Special Deputy Attorney General and Acting Assistant Prosecutor Jonathan E. McMeen.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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