NORTH BRUNSWICK – The New Jersey State Police have charged a 16-year-old male with allegedly stealing an unmarked troop car and then using it during the commission of multiple robberies and a theft at a gas station.
On Dec. 17, a New Jersey State Trooper reported his car stolen at approximately 9:39 a.m. when he discovered it missing from his driveway in North Brunswick, according to information provided by the State Police. The troop car contained several uniforms, two issued weapons and other issued equipment.
Based on the preliminary investigation, detectives determined that the suspect and troop car were involved with four incidents on Dec. 17. At 5:45 a.m., a truck driver was stopped southbound on the New Jersey Turnpike near Interchange 10. The suspect allegedly identified himself as a trooper and requested money from the driver as a fine for speeding. The driver refused and the suspect drove away, according to the statement. The victim reported this incident the following day.
At 6:50 a.m., a truck driver reported a robbery to State Police after he was allegedly stopped by the suspect using the stolen troop car on the New Jersey Turnpike southbound at milepost 74.7 in South Brunswick. During the interaction, the suspect reportedly stole cash from the driver, according to the statement.
At 7:19 a.m., the suspect fueled the troop car at a gas station on St. George Avenue in Colonia and left without paying, according to police.
At 7:30 a.m., the suspect allegedly stopped a cab at the Woodbridge Center Mall in Woodbridge and stole cash from the driver.
No weapons were brandished during any of the incidents, and the troop car was recovered later that day in New Brunswick, according to the State Police.
On Dec. 20, detectives from the New Jersey State Police Homicide North Unit and North Brunswick Police Department developed a suspect based on forensic analysis of evidence recovered during the investigation, according to the statement. Later that day, investigators recovered two issued weapons, which were inside of the troop car when it was stolen, in the area of Dogwood Court in New Brunswick.
The suspect was charged with burglary, unlawful possession of a weapon (two counts), robbery (two counts), impersonating a law enforcement officer (three counts), and theft by unlawful taking. He was lodged at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center in lieu of bail.