Wayne Man Accused of Knifepoint Robbery

26-year-old held a knife to gas station attendant's throat and demanded money, police said.

A Wayne man has been arrested for allegedly robbing an Exxon gas station attendant at knifepoint Sunday night.

Thomas Venezia, 26, was charged with first-degree robbery, unlawful possession of a weapon, and using an unlawful weapon against another person, a warrant filed by Wayne Police states.

Police reported that Venezia an attendant at the Exxon gas station at 540 Valley Road at knifepoint.

Police reported that Venezia paced in front of the convenience store at the station and then tried to open the bathroom door. When Ogreten attempted to help Venezia open the door, Venezia put a knife to his throat and pushed him against the building, repeatedly saying: “Give me your money or I’ll kill you,” a police report states.

Ogreten gave Venezia $35, police said. Venezia then fled the scene, police said.

Police recovered video surveillance footage of Venezia leaving the gas station, police said.

Det./Capt. James Clarke said police identified Venezia through some “investigative work” by matching his photograph up to the surveillance footage.

Clarke said Venezia was scheduled to be arraigned in municipal court Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Municipal court Judge Peter Weiss set bail at $100,000. Venezia will be transported to Passaic County Jail if he is unable to post bail.

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Linda September 04, 2012 at 07:43 PM
WOO-HOO!!! Great job to the Wayne men in blue!!! Nice work (and quick, too) :)
Scondo September 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
26 years old , if convicted will spend about 8 years in state prison, all for 35 dollars. No judge is going to let a knife wielding robber who threatens death to walk with a slap on he bum. This one draws a long stay.
Noneofyour Business September 04, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Linda, seriously, a "WOO-HOO", how old are you? Wayne cops do a great job but it is seriously time to get the heroin dealers off the streets and in jail because THIS is how it ends up or they end up dead. It is an awful situation.
Dory Degen September 04, 2012 at 09:34 PM
What was he thinking? Who robs a store in their own town? I feel terrible for his parents. They must be supremely embarassed. PLEASE don't post his bail!
John jay September 04, 2012 at 09:56 PM
All I would like to say Tom I hope u the best threw the trial and tribulations of this situation be strong and the most important part is that ur alive
Linda September 04, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Really, NoneofyourBusiness...you ask how old I AM?? LOL and OMG. It's nice to know that this knife wielding, $35 stealing piece of cr@p is off the streets and away from MY house - who's to say HE'S not a heroin dealer, hmmmmmm??? Since you're all knowing, maybe you can point Wayne's finest in the right direction there, skippy.
Dory Degen September 04, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Really! Thank you TY TY Wayne PD!!! And what about the guy wishing this pos "the best"and sayng the most important part is that HE is alive?? What about the poor guy who had a knife up to his throat? Noooo, we wish the robber the best. Sheesh.
Deblyn September 05, 2012 at 12:34 AM
I just can't see "Tommy" doing this...there has to be DRUGS involved cause the kid I "knew" along with his WONDERFUL parents & siblings wouldn't intentionally HURT anyone..no less "threaten" such a thing either! Where he did this makes me wonder if he "WANTED" to get caught so that he can get CLEAN & start over brand new subconsiously!
Noneofyour Business September 05, 2012 at 12:48 AM
A little riled Linda? :) Hmmmmmmmm? Good.
Packanack hero September 05, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Know him, he is not a terrible guy. Must have gotten into the drugs.
Emanon September 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Wayne cops do a great job.....BUT they are not responsible for others who take drugs. Growing up I had ample opportunity to take drugs , but because I have self respect, and respect for my parents I never even considered taking drugs. They advertise some Detox Program on the radio ......that works in days .....but I have no proof of that.
Noneofyour Business September 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
No one said they were responsible... Linda took it in a different direction or maybe I stated it incorrectly, I apologize. The drug issue is a problem all over the country, in recent years the use of heroin seems plague-like. It is not solely a local problem and I do not have any input as to how it should be addressed... This is not my field of expertise.
H8_know_it_alls September 05, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Personally knowing this kid and family, it's sad. Nobody knows why these kids get into drugs. The heroin problem is out of control. People that know nothing about it and have no clue how it affects entire families shouldn't make snide comments! Believe me, if the parents/families could fix these kids or prevented it in any way, they would have. It is a problem all over the country. It has no bias, rich, poor, white, black.. its everywhere. If anyone knows how to fix it.. please clue us who are affected by this in.
wyldthang18 September 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM
This is crap. Everyone makes a choice and must live with the consequences. Does anyone feel sorry for the guy from Camden who was high on PCP and assaulted a 12 yr old in her bed then slashed the throat of her 6 yr old brother as he tried to help her? Or are we only supposed to feel sorry for the criminal if they are from Wayne? A criminal is a criminal no matter where they come from.
Mary September 07, 2012 at 01:02 AM
He does come from a good home. Shame on you for passing judgement. I only hope and pray that this never happens to you or when you become a parent you never have to deal with this. This is a parents worst nightmare. Instead of condemning let's hope he gets the help he needs and is put back on the right track.
Nose Wayne September 07, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Don't do the CRIME,if you don't wanna do the TIME !!!!!!
Anonymous88 September 08, 2012 at 11:49 AM
I know Tommy personally and he is not a bad guy. He was recently laid off from his job and that combined with being strung out on heroin lead him to make the most irrational, stupid decision of his life. Drug addiction and heroin in particular is at an all time high especially in North Jersey. Despite the fact that what he did was inexcusable and totally wrong I still view him with a certain amount of empathy and compassion because I know the kind of good person he really is and see this crime as the strung out act of desperation that it is. Hopefully he gets punished but perhaps not in a way that completely destroys his future and at the same time our prison system finds some way to help rehabilitate his drug problem (and other addicts drug problems) to avoid another incident like this in the future.
Pad September 09, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Another Wayne Valley graduate is in jail in North Miami Beeach for armed robbery and other charges. Maybe the BOE should be spending money on the huge drug and alcohol problem in the Wayne School System. It seems the District and most parents turn a blind eye to what is a mjor problem in Wayne. The BOE is too interested in the Distric's image then the welfare of the children. Every kid you talk to say's drugs are all over both high schools. What is being done to combat this problem? Just keep spending money on BS programs and hiring your friends.
Pad September 09, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Fixing this problem starts with zero tolerance in the courts, the schools and at home. It goes from alcohol, to pot then other drugs and before you know it a kid is hooked. Many parents and teachers look the other way. Believe me from what I am told this person had a problem all the way back in HS. If his peers saw it, why not parents, teachers etc.? There is a major drug and alcohol problem in Wayne but I guess Wayne's image is more important then admitting and attempting to fix this problem.
BS November 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Sad. I lnowt the mom. Nice person. Feel really bad for her and family. Hope things work out for the best.


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