A string of some high-end car thefts in the area came to a halt on Oct. 12 and Sunday morning with the arrest by local police of the teens allegedly responsible, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said on Thursday.
“Car thieves have been feasting on a smorgasbord of high-end vehicles in Monmouth County’s affluent neighborhoods, but they are about to find out the buffet is closed,” Gramiccioni said in a released statement. “State, county and local law enforcement officers are working diligently and are focused on ending the feeding frenzy.
“While not all of these motor vehicle thefts are committed on unlocked cars, it appears these thieves continue to target high-end motor vehicles, whose owners continue to leave their cars unlocked with their key fob inside.
“Locking your doors and securing your keys will go a long way towards reducing these crimes. While police officers across Monmouth County have relentlessly investigated these high-end thefts, the community needs to be aware that a reduction in car thefts is unlikely until careless owners begin to lock their vehicles”
The arrests and background information …
Marlboro police were alerted early Sunday morning to a suspicious motor vehicle found in the Morganville section of town at about 12:45 a.m.
Upon arrival at the scene, police determined the suspected thieves entered a motor vehicle parked in a resident’s driveway and attempted to enter another vehicle parked outside of the same resident’s home. Police were unable to locate the suspicious vehicle but notified surrounding towns about the incident.
Several hours later, the same vehicle was reportedly traveling around the area and people in it were attempting to enter and steal vehicles.
As a result of information obtained, Marlboro police notified police in Freehold Township that the dark Maserati occupied by several men may have been entering their jurisdiction and it was suspected they were attempting to steal motor vehicles.
Shortly after this notification, a Freehold Township police officer observed a vehicle fitting the description on Rustic Way heading toward him, causing him to have to make evasive maneuvers to escape being struck.
The officer turned around and activated his emergency lights in an attempt to conduct a motor vehicle stop. The vehicle, however, failed to stop and fled at a high rate of speed and in a reckless manner as it travelled north on Route 79. Shortly thereafter, the officer, from a distance, observed the vehicle crash and roll several times.
As the officer approached the vehicle, he saw three men fleeing the scene of the crash. After a foot chase, the officer was able to arrest the three males. As this was transpiring, other officers arrived on scene to assist. One of the other officers gave chase to two additional vehicle occupants. The officer apprehended one of the two. After apprehending 4 of the 5 men, police determined that the crashed vehicle, a 2016 maroon Maserati Ghibli, was stolen the prior day in Irvington.
As police continued to investigate this incident, Marlboro police were contacted by homeowners on a street in town, indicating a group of individuals attempted to steal their vehicles. Upon arrival, police spoke with the homeowners and were able to view several surveillance cameras to corroborate the men were the same as those in the Maserati that crashed moments after fleeing this street and encountering the Freehold police vehicle.
As a result of the combined efforts of Freehold Township and Marlboro police, four men from Newark were charged with various crimes in both towns.
Police charged 19-year-old Sharrod Rodgers and 18-year-old Isaiah Davis, both of Newark, with third-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree attempted burglary, second-degree receiving stolen property and fourth-degree resisting arrest.
Aziz McCloud, 18, of Newark, was charged with the same offenses. However, after police determined he was the driver of the stolen vehicle, he was also charged with second-degree eluding, third-degree aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and third-degree possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine). The fourth was charged on a juvenile delinquency complaint. He was later released to a guardian.
Recently, Deal Police Department has been inundated with high-end vehicle thefts and officers made several arrests after a multi-day investigation.
On Oct. 12 at 10:18 a.m., Deal Police responded to Parker Avenue for a report of a motor vehicle theft. While on scene, police were alerted to an additional motor vehicle theft on the same street. Based on surveillance video, it was determined the two vehicles, a BMW and a Mercedes, were stolen in the early morning hours.
Using Mercedes Benz tracking software, officers learned the stolen Mercedes Benz was driven north and ended up at a motel in Linden. Upon responding to the motel, the two stolen vehicles were found and seized. The suspects were identified, as was the vehicle they used to travel to and from Deal.
Additionally, in the early morning hours of Oct. 15, 2020, another Deal police officer conducted a motor vehicle stop on a vehicle speeding out of Asbury Park.
Ultimately, it was determined they were operating the vehicle which had been used to steal the Mercedes and BMW three days earlier. Deal police, with the assistance of police in Brielle, were able to link the occupants to a motor vehicle burglary in Brielle earlier that morning.
Three men, 18-year-old Jeron Pitt of Somerset, 18-year-old Ishmil Fate of Newark and 19-year-old Christopher Rodriguez, also of Newark, were all charged with second-degree theft, two counts of third-degree theft and two counts of third-degree attempted theft, as well as third-degree burglary in Brielle.
If convicted of a second-degree crime, each defendant faces a sentence of five to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison for each count. If convicted of a third-degree crime, each defendant faces a sentence of three to five years in prison for each count. If convicted of a fourth-degree crime, each defendant faces up to an additional 18 months in state prison.
— Edited press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office