Police: Man poses as gas station attendant to steal $20, buy crack in Jersey City


A Jersey City man was arrested yesterday afternoon for pretending to be a gas station attendant, stealing $20 from a patron, buying crack and taking authorities on a foot pursuit, police said.

Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.
Photo courtesy of Port Authority police.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Mark Serrano, 25, of Jersey City, was charged with theft, resisting arrest by flight, tampering with evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia yesterday, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.

At about 3:20 p.m. yesterday, Port Authority police officers were canvassing the area for a suspect who had pretended to be a gas station attendant and took a $20 payment for fuel from a motorist at the Diesel Gas Fuel Station on 14th Street in Jersey City, officials said.

The officers were in a marked Port Authority police car and about 10 minutes late, spotted a person matching the description of the suspect, noting his clothing and height, walking east on 16th Street, authorities

They approached the suspect to question him and he fled on foot into the courtyard of the Holland Gardens apartment complex, located at 241 16th St. The suspect disregarded the officer’s commands to stop and fled the scene, police said.

As the officers closed in on the suspect, they witnessed him toss a small object, later described by the suspect as crack cocaine folded up in a dollar bill. The folded bill was later recovered, officials said.

The officers caught the suspect and he was placed under arrest. He was found to be in possession of a copper pad, commonly used as drug paraphernalia. The suspect volunteered that he had used the $20 he had stolen from the victim to “buy crack” and that he had thrown the crack away during the foot chase, authorities said.

The victim identified Serrano, stating that earlier, he had pretended to be a gas station attendant and took $20 from him – which was intended for gas – and he fled on foot, police said.

A computer check showed that Serrano also had an open warrant out of Hoboken for shoplifting. Bail was set at $7,500, with no 10% option and he was transported to Hudson County Correction jail for processing, officials said.

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