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Recently Freed Crackhead Ex-Con Tries Robbing Route 23 Pump Jockey At Knifepoint: Wayne PD

Michael Zita, Maria Zita
Michael Zita, Maria Zita Photo Credit: WAYNE PD

A crackhead ex-con who’d been released from state prison last year had just filled the tank of his pickup truck when he pulled a knife on a Wayne gas station attendant, authorities said.

The worker refused to hand over any money and the driver fled, they said.

It wasn’t tough for detectives to identify Michael Zita, 37, of Oak Ridge, Detective Capt. Dan Daly said.

Zita had a violent history. He'd served 4½ years for robbery, as well as burglary, following a trio of incidents in Morris and Passaic counties in 2015, records show.

The investigators kept Zita under surveillance for awhile before stopping his Ford F-150 on Route 80 and arresting him last Friday, Jan. 27, the captain said.

It was the same pickup truck that was used in the botched robbery at the Shell station on southbound Route 23 shortly after 5:30 a.m. the day before, he said.

Also arrested was his passenger, Maria Zita, 34, also of Oak Ridge.

Police charged Michael Zita with armed robbery and weapons offenses, including being a convicted felon in possession of a knife.

Both he and Maria Zita were charged with crack possession.

She was released pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson.

Michael Zita, meanwhile, was sent to the Passaic County Jail, where he remained held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, records show.

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