Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez has released the following information:
Local municipal law enforcement departments and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office have charged a Bergen County man in connection with a string of armed robberies that occurred throughout Hudson County last week.
Five armed robberies were reported between the late night hours of Friday, April 29, 2022 and the early morning hours of Saturday, April 30, 2022. In each incident, a handgun was brandished and money was demanded from the clerk working at a business.
A joint investigation by the municipal police departments, with assistance from the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Gang Task Force, resulted in the arrest of Joel Krecz, 35, of Hackensack. Krecz has been identified as the suspect responsible for at least five armed robberies in Jersey City, Secaucus, Union City and Hoboken. To date, Krecz has been charged with multiple counts of robbery and various weapons and theft offenses in connection with:
- The robbery of a store on Route 440 in Jersey City on Friday, April 29, 2022.
- The robbery of a liquor store on Summit Avenue in Union City on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
- The robbery of a gas station on Route 3 in Secaucus on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
- The robbery of a business on Paterson Plank Road in Union City on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
- The robbery of a liquor store on Willow Avenue in Hoboken on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
“This arrest is the direct result of good, collaborative policing between patrol officers, detectives, and major case units,” said Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez. “Our office is committed to working closely with every department in Hudson County to protect the safety of residents and business owners and see that those responsible for crime are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
Krecz was arrested in Jersey City, while in possession of a handgun, on Tuesday, May 3, 2022. He is being held at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in Kearny pending his first court appearance, which is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 9, 2022.
“By working together with departments across city lines, we not only apprehended an armed and dangerous criminal, but we also prevented this armed robber from potentially committing many more acts of violence and stopped him from further terrorizing our communities,” said Jersey City Police Director Tawana Moody and Deputy Chief Nicola Flora. “We are incredibly grateful for the astute observation made by Jersey City OEM supervisor Timothy Lawrence, who led JCPD to the arrest. Our work in public safety knows no boundaries, and we are thankful for our strong partnerships with neighboring agencies which work to make all of our communities safer.”
"Crime has no jurisdictional boundaries and the Secaucus Police Department will continue to work with our law enforcement counterparts and pursue criminals who victimize businesses and residents,” said Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller. “By working collaborative and sharing police resources, we are able to bring this brazen criminal to justice.”
“The Union City Police Department is committed to seeing that everyone feels safe when they are walking through their neighborhood or going to work to provide for their families,” said Union City Police Chief Nichelle Luster. “We are thankful our neighboring law enforcement agencies share these same values and work collaboratively to make our communities safer for everyone.”
“I want to thank our partnering agencies for their professionalism, dedication, and swift response in apprehending the individual involved in a series of robberies throughout Hudson County,” said Hoboken Police Chief Steven Aguiar. “When law enforcement comes together, it sends a message to the criminal element that crime will not be tolerated in our communities.”
Authorities are continuing to investigate:
- The robbery of a store on Kennedy Boulevard in North Bergen on Friday, April 8, 2022.
Additional arrests and charges are expected. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office at 201-915-1345 or to leave an anonymous tip at: http://www.hudsoncountyprosecutorsofficenj.org/homicide-tip/
. All information will be kept confidential.
The above charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. R.P.C.3.6(b)(6)