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Westfield Man Charged With Theft at Train Station

The following information was obtained from the Westfield Police Department. An arrest does not indicate a conviction.

Murray Perch, 61, of Westfield, was arrested on Friday, May 18 and charged with theft, according to the. 

Perch, who runs Sunnyside News at the Westfield Train Station, was "picked up in the late afternoon after a plainclothes officer observed" Perch allegedly removing money from a pay station machine at the Westfield train station, according to Westfield Police Capt. Cliff Auchter.

Because the amount of the alleged theft was under $200, this is a disorderly persons charge and the case will be heard in Municipal Court, Auchter said. 

Perch was released and has a pending court date of June 8. 

When contacted by Patch, Perch said he had no comment.

Mark J June 06, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I agree--let's forget about due process and brand the potentially innocent over a 5 sentence-nondescript-piece-of-"journalism"!
BachelorsPad June 06, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Murray is innocent until proven guilty.
Commuter June 06, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I heard he was able to manipulate the machines by hitting them a certain way and causing the machine to dispense coins.
Common Sense June 06, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Say it ain't so, Murray!
Westfield guy June 06, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Let the process play out in the courts before judging Murray. He deserves that
Russ H June 06, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Ah... small town news! What a shame an alleged petty crime had to have a headline (and inevitable armchair judgements that come with the headline) before there is a legal judgement.
jack June 07, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Murray is the thef
Jay O'Neil June 07, 2012 at 02:20 AM
He has been stealing from every tax payer in town for years, he dosen't pay any rent to the town and he steals his electric from NJ Transit, It's about tie the truth comes out about what he really is.
Rusty Cut June 07, 2012 at 02:28 AM
Harry, you have to be joking right? Of course it wasn't the coin return! But look at all the people below who thought you were serious.
local busybody June 07, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Harry, It's exactly what they are accusing him of. Hasn't everybody done that?
local busybody June 07, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Why would you think that Murray "steals" electric from NJ Transit? Have you ever asked him?
Alison McGruber June 07, 2012 at 02:07 PM
This appears to be the heinous Crime of the Century. Thank goodness for the Plainclothes Stake Out.
Wally Westfield June 07, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Perhaps Murray ran out of "free" donuts and hence the quid pro quo..........
Station Thief ! June 07, 2012 at 08:45 PM
He doesn't pay any rent to the Town ? How can that possibly be. I remember he was good friends with that councilman Peter Esschause. Could have the councilman helped him obtain the free status ? Maybe someone can get a copy of the rent lease through the public records thing !
South Westfielder June 07, 2012 at 10:13 PM
There was a pay station right ourside Hershey's that kept dispensing coins no matter how hard the poor woman tried to stop it and put her quater in. I have no idea what she did, but there was no way she could stop it - it was like a one-armed bandit.
Jay O'Neil June 07, 2012 at 11:43 PM
local busy body, look at the cord pulled into the station
Old School June 08, 2012 at 12:32 AM
ignorant. listen to some of you. really? how about waiting until he has his day in court? I know, how profound ..... fools
Westfield Resident June 08, 2012 at 01:34 AM
He's an incredibly nice man with a great heart and an equally nice family. We all make mistakes--or perhaps he's being falsely accused--but he deserves a fair trial before anyone judges him and assumes the worst.
Ellen M June 08, 2012 at 01:40 AM
This article should not have been published.. It is not fair and is an incredibly minor issue if it's true, which is may not be. This article should be taken down. I would expect better from this site.
NewarkDirect June 08, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Meanwhile 5 more bikes were stolen
local busybody June 08, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Jay, are you hallucinating? There is absolutely no cord anywhere. Maybe you should be more concerned with other crime that's happening around town.
Keith June 08, 2012 at 04:35 PM
The real crime here are some of these slanderous untraceable comments. Now that might be a 'newsworthy' story.
harry June 08, 2012 at 05:03 PM
@Rusty Cut So you witnessed this?
harry June 13, 2012 at 01:21 PM
@Kaitlyn Anness. If you mean "give change" (i.e.as putting in a $1 and getting back $.50) you are correct they don't "give change". On the other hand, I have experienced using the machine, it not taking my quarter and returning it to me. At times there have been more quarters in the coin return than I put in the machine, like the old pay phones, fwiw So as to not read into the story too much as it was reported, Murray could have been checking the coin returns and removing change left behind or he might have been getting the "money" out of the machine another way. The way it was reported I can't tell what exactly happened, I was only speculating because of the way the story was reported. I don't know the law well enough to know if it is a crime to simply remove money from the coin return that was not yours. In any case my two cents worth. It is disappointing to me to continually read attacks on others in this forum from members of this allegedly "wonderful" community, but I guess we all have our dark sides, even westfielders.
sally cohen-alameno June 16, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Apparently Murray Perch, an incredibly good man, found all of twenty cents left in the change part of the parking pay station and was arrested for it. I see five year olds sweeping their hands through doing the same thing...are they going to be arrested, too? It's unbelievable that he was arrested for such a ridiculous "offense" and irresponsible reporting to not fully flesh out the story with actual details....the writer of this article has to know that it sounds like he took a sledge hammer to the pay station...I am disappointed in this website ... if you actually felt the reading public *had* to know of this arrest for our public safety, at least print the truth....and monitor your comments section for trolls, please.
BachelorsPad June 20, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Sally, can you back up your statement with facts?
local busybody June 21, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Who's money is it? When you go to a pay station and put in your 25 cents and you hear money fall into the coin return and it happens to be more than you put in, are you stealing money from the town? When your grandmother doesn't use the pay station, but happens to walk by and see if any one didn't take their change and she takes it, is she stealing the town's money? If you found $1.00 on the street and you pick it up, do you bring it to the police department? When the local police arrest you for this behavior and it turns your life upside down, who do you complain to?
Crime Watch June 22, 2012 at 04:58 AM
Sally, maybe you might want to check with the police department that set up a stakeout because there an indication by the coin collecting parking department that the pay stations were a little "light" in coins than what is usually collected. You may think that this is just an simple case of someone checking for loose change when in reality it may be a pattern of theft that the police were alerted to and the thief just happens to be beloved Murray Perch and got caught.
JERSEY GIRL July 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Does anyone remember the older woman who used to wander the paystations on elm by trader joes, checking for coins? wonder what happened to her.
A. John November 15, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Elizabeth, do you have an update on what happened in this case?

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