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Sussex County ‘distract and grab’ thief sentenced to 180 days in jail

NEWTON, NJ (Sussex County) – A Passaic County man has been sentenced to 180 days in jail for 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 was sentenced on Sept. 29 before the Honorable Michael C. Gaus, J.S.C. at the Sussex County Courthouse in Newton, Taggart said.

Canales was sentenced to 180 days in the Morris County Correctional Facility which will run concurrent on both counts.

Canales pled guilty on Sept. 8 to two counts of fourth-degree theft. In pleading guilty, he 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 gifts cards in what is called a “distract and grab” scam, Taggart said.

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

At sentencing, Canales was represented by Matthew W. Young, Esq. and the State was represented by Special Deputy Attorney General and Acting Supervising 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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