Somerset County officials announced the arrests of Al-Tamir Thornton, 18, of Newark, along with three juveniles from Newark, for a motor vehicle theft that occurred in Warren Township.
Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson stated that on Saturday, November 7, at approximately 8:10 a.m., a Warren Township resident contacted police headquarters after observing her vehicle being stolen from her driveway.
According to police, a responding Warren Township Police Officer observed the stolen BMW vehicle, and an additional vehicle, a Range Rover which was subsequently determined to be stolen from Newark, pass the officer at a high rate of speed on Washington Valley Road, Warren Township.
Police reported that both vehicles were pursued by law enforcement after the defendants failed to yield to law enforcement. The vehicular pursuit traveled towards Interstate 78 East into Berkeley Heights.
Police said that the operator of the stolen Range Rover crashed into a civilian vehicle at the intersection of Valley Road and Diamond Hill Road, Berkley Heights. Two male occupants exited the stolen Range Rover and proceeded into the stolen BMW which was occupied with two additional male occupants.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that the occupants of the stolen BMW continued to flee from the area and subsequently crashed on the Eastbound ramp onto Route 78 from Diamond Hill Road where all four suspects were taken into custody without further incident by law enforcement officers from Warren Township.
There were no injuries reported from either crash. The investigation revealed that Thornton and the 17-year-old juvenile driver were unlicensed.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that Al-Tamir Thornton was charged with second-degree Eluding, third-degree Receiving Stolen Property, third-degree Theft of Movable Property, and third-degree Conspiracy.
Thornton was lodged at the Somerset County Jail pending a bail detention hearing.
The three male juveniles ages 15, 16, and 17 were each charged with juvenile delinquency charges of second degree Eluding, third-degree Theft of Movable Property, third-degree Receiving Stolen Property, and third-degree Conspiracy.
The 17-year-old juvenile was lodged at the Middlesex County Juvenile Detention Center pending a family court appearance.
The 15 and 16-year-old juveniles were released to the custody of their parents pending a family court appearance Prosecutor Robertson stated that the investigation is ongoing regarding motor vehicle burglaries that also occurred on November 7, in Warren Township and surrounding areas.
Prosecutor Robertson stated that authorities are urging residents to lock their vehicles and remove their belongings, particularly key fobs from their vehicles. Suspects routinely target unlocked vehicles with personal items of value in plain view.
The vehicles which are targeted are often left unlocked with the vehicle’s key fob left inside. Many of these thefts occur overnight into the early morning hours.
Prosecutor Robertson, Chief Fodor and Chief Keane request anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Warren Township Police Department at (908) 753-1000.
Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.