WEST WINDSOR: Alleged shoplifter leads police on chase, jumps from car into Route 1 traffic


By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
WEST WINDSOR — Five people who targeted a dental product have been charged with shoplifting and other violations, after they were caught trying to steal Crest White Strips at Wegmans on Nassau Park Boulevard Sept. 19, according to police.
Police were sent to the grocery store shortly after 2:30 p.m. after a shoplifting-in-progress was called in to the Police Department. The shoplifters, who took $839.83 worth of Crest White Strips, fled the area in a white Mitsubishi sport utility vehicle, police said.
But a few minutes later, two police officers saw the car in the parking lot outside of a store at the Mercer Mall. Police stopped the car, and one of the five occupants — later identified as Joseph P. Abate, 42, of Dover, Pennsylvania — jumped out of the car.
Mr. Abate ran from the parking lot and into traffic on Route 1 south. He climbed over the concrete barrier and the chain-link fence and headed toward the Quaker Bridge Mall, police said. He ran through heavy traffic on Route 1 north toward the mall.
Mr. Abate was apprehended and charged with shoplifting and obstruction by flight. He was also found to be a fugitive from justice from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and was turned over to the Bristol Township (Pa.) Police Department.
The other four occupants of the car — James E. Reilly V, 26, and Marcy M. Vickery, 29, both of Bristol, Pennsylvania, were charged with shoplifting. Stephen M. Rose, 39, and Alyssa A. Rose, 24, both of Levittown, Pennsylvania, were also charged with shoplifting.
Ms. Vickery and Ms. Rose were each also charged with possession of a hypodermic needle, and Ms. Rose was also charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.
All four were released pending appearances in court.