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Thief Steals Car Left Running with Child Inside in Maplewood


According to Maplewood Police Chief Jimmy DeVaul, at approximately 2 p.m. today, police were dispatched to 453 Valley Street, the CVS store, on a report of a stolen vehicle with an infant child inside.

Chief DeVaul said The child’s mother was in the store at the time.

A description of the stolen vehicle was given out to surrounding agencies. South Orange Police officers observed the vehicle and initiated a pursuit.

Maplewood Police officers responded to the area of the pursuit and assisted Chief DeVaul said. 

The stolen vehicle was abandoned while in motion, and the suspect fled the scene on foot.

Patrol officers from both towns then initiated a foot pursuit with the suspect into the rear yards off of Waverly Place in South Orange, where he was apprehended without further incident.

The vehicle continued to roll a short distance with the child inside and struck an unoccupied mail truck, then came to a stop.

Chief DeVaul said police called EMS to the scene to evaluate the child.

“Thankfully, the child was unharmed. Mom and child were reunited at the scene of the accident”.

Chief DeVaul identified the suspect as Mr. Jaquan Shiggs, 22, East Orange. 

Detectives have reviewed the incident and the charges with the Essex County Prosecutors Office.

They have authorized the following charges: Kidnapping, theft, eluding by flight, endangering the welfare of a child.

These charges do not include any charges that may have been approved in South Orange as it relates to the pursuit or any subsequent motor vehicle violations.

The suspect, Mr. Shiggs, will be remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility.

“I want to thank the South Orange Police personally and all of the officers that were involved, including our dispatchers from both towns who simultaneously shared information leading to the arrest and rescue of this child within minutes from when the incident occurred,” Chief DeVaul said.