Union City landlord charged for unlawful eviction

Tenant was on her way back from a trip overseas

Police saved some of the evicted tenant's possessions after the landlord attempted to throw them away and evict her. Photo courtesy of the Union City Police Department.
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Police saved some of the evicted tenant's possessions after the landlord attempted to throw them away and evict her. Photo courtesy of the Union City Police Department.

The Union City Police Department arrested and charged the owner of 508 Bergenline Ave., Ron Bello, with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, and unlawful eviction.

The Feb. 20 arrest came after an incident that allegedly took place on or around Feb. 3 resulting in the illegal eviction of his tenant, Milka Camposano, and the removal of her belongings from her apartment.

The eviction violates Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order placing a moratorium on evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Feb. 3, a friend of Camposano, knowing she was out of the country, alerted the UCPD of a possible burglary in her apartment. The police department found evidence of a burglary, and residential furniture and black garbage bags in the rear of the building.

Good neighbors 

Detectives canvassed the neighborhood, reviewed surveillance cameras, and spoke with all involved parties. Neighbors assisted in the investigation and provided additional leads.

After hours of investigation by the Detective Bureau, police said there was probable cause to charge the building owner, Ron Bello. The Detective Bureau returned multiple items of monetary and sentimental value to the victim.

According to authorities, Camposano was not properly served with an eviction notice, but was informed of her illegal eviction and removal of her belongings while on her way back from a trip overseas.

Mayor Brian Stack and the City of Union City immediately filed an Order to Show Cause to have Camposano returned to her apartment and seek damages. On Feb. 4, Judge Marybeth Rogers ruled in favor of Camposano and ordered that the owner return her to her apartment immediately. But Camposano could not return until Feb. 8 because there was no heat or electricity in her apartment.

Judge Rogers will set a date for the matter to go to trial on the issues of the eviction and damages for the removal of Camposano’s property.

“Once again, a successful effort by the Union City Police Department,” Stack said. “The building owner’s actions are inexcusable and unjust, and I am confident that we will prevail in this matter. No one deserves to be evicted without proper notice, have a building owner or landlord enter their apartment without their knowledge and have all of their possessions removed. It is unfair and unacceptable, and a clear message must be sent to all owners and landlords that it will not be tolerated.”

The above charges are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.