The collaborative efforts of two local police departments led to the arrest on Nov. 8 of four alleged car thieves from Essex County, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office.
Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said the arrests are another example of the
concerted efforts by local police to combat a rash of high-end car thefts in the county.
According to a press release Gramiccioni’s office issued on Nov. 12, Marlboro police were alerted in the early morning hours of Nov. 8 to a suspicious motor vehicle in the Morganville section of the township at 12:45 a.m.
Upon response, officers determined the suspected thieves had entered a motor vehicle that was parked in a resident’s driveway and attempted to enter another vehicle that was parked outside the same resident’s home.
Police were unable to locate the suspicious vehicle, but notified surrounding towns about the incident, according to the press release.
Several hours later, individuals in the same vehicle were reportedly traveling around the area and attempting to enter and steal vehicles.
As a result of information obtained, Marlboro police notified police in Freehold Township that a dark Maserati occupied by several men may have been entering their
jurisdiction and it was suspected the individuals were attempting to steal motor vehicles.
Shortly after receiving that notification, a Freehold Township police officer observed a vehicle fitting the description on Rustic Way heading toward him, causing him to have to take evasive maneuvers to escape being struck, according to the press release.
The officer turned his vehicle around and activated the vehicle’s emergency lights in an attempt to conduct a motor vehicle stop. The driver of the suspect vehicle failed to stop and fled the area at a high rate of speed and in a reckless manner as the vehicle traveled north on Route 79.
Shortly thereafter, the Freehold Township 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 men, according to the press release.
Other officers arrived on scene to assist the initial officer. One of the other officers gave chase to two additional occupants of the crashed vehicle and apprehended one of the two individuals.
One suspect was not arrested.
Police determined the crashed vehicle, a 2016 maroon Maserati Ghibli, had been stolen the prior day in Irvington, Essex County.
As police continued to investigate the incident, Marlboro police were contacted by
homeowners who indicated a group of individuals had attempted to steal their vehicles.
Officers spoke with those homeowners and were able to view surveillance camera footage to corroborate that the individuals seen in the footage were the same as those who were in the Maserati that crashed moments after fleeing that street in Marlboro and encountering the Freehold Township police vehicle, according to the press release.
Gramiccioni said four individuals from Newark, Essex County, were charged with various crimes in Marlboro and Freehold Township.
Police charged Sharrod Rodgers, 19, and Isaiah Davis, 18, with third degree burglary, two counts of third degree attempted burglary, second degree receiving stolen property and fourth degree resisting arrest.
Aziz McCloud, 18, was similarly charged and 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), according to the prosecutor’s office.
The fourth individual who was arrested during the incident was charged on a juvenile delinquency complaint and released to a guardian.
Gramiccioni commended the Freehold Township and Marlboro police officers who were
involved in the investigation and pointed out that officers across Monmouth County have been vigilant in attempting to catch the high-end car thieves who have been targeting the county.
“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 toward 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,” Gramiccioni said.