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Hazleton man held on $10M cash bail


February 20. 2013 2:58AM
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WILKES-BARRE – A Hazleton man arrested on theft charges over the weekend was held on $10 million cash bail as a fugitive wanted in the murder of a 16-year-old New Jersey girl.


Cruz Martinez Jr., 41, was in the Luzerne County Correctional Facility awaiting extradition to New Jersey.


Martinez was charged with the murder of Alishia Colon who was found shot dead Thursday night in her home in Kearny, according to The Jersey Journal.


He was taken in custody Saturday by state police for allegedly stealing an 80-inch television valued at $4,248 from the Walmart store in Hazle Township on Nov. 10. The arrest was made two months after the complaint was filed with a district judge.


Martinez was unable to post $30,000 bail on the retail-theft charge and was committed to the county prison.


A police detective from New Jersey contacted Wilkes-Barre police Saturday that Martinez was at the prison and wanted in the fatal shooting. City police filed a fugitive from justice charge against Martinez. He was unable to post bail on that charge as well.


According to The Jersey Journal, at 6:20 p.m. Thursday Kearny police were called to a reported shooting in the second-floor of a residence at 253 Belgrove Drive. Officers found the high school sophomore in her bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. She was pronounced dead at the scene.


The father of Colon's boyfriend said she was baby sitting her younger brother and hid him from the shooter. Investigators have not confirmed if the boy was in the room at the time of shooting, according to the newspaper.


Earlier that day police were called to the area of 250 Belgrove Drive for a street fight involving some of the victim's relatives, according to the newspaper.


One man was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and making terroristic threats in connection with the fight, according to the newspaper.


In the retail theft case, state police said: Loss prevention personnel at the Walmart store on Airport Road reported four people loaded an 80-inch Aquos LCD TV onto a cart that was wheeled past the registers and out to the parking lot at 4:36 p.m.


Video surveillance showed them place the box containing the TV onto the roof of a car that drove out of the lot. Instead of securing the television to the roof, the occupants stuck their arms out of the windows and held on to the nylon straps of the box.


State police obtained the vehicle's registration and traced it to a residence in Hazleton. While on the porch speaking with the owner of the vehicle, state police saw the TV through a window. It was still in the box on the floor behind a couch. The surveillance photos confirmed Martinez was the person pushing the cart containing the box.


The television was returned to the store and a felony retail theft charge was going to be filed against Martinez.


State police filed the criminal complaint with District Judge James M. Dixon on Nov. 19.




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