Police are searching for a man accused of stealing from a vehicle in Fairfield then returned and ensued a pursuit in a stolen vehicle.
According to police, at approximately 2 a.m. today, Fairfield officers were called to 85 Henning Drive to investigate a burglary of a motor vehicle.
Officials say the owner of a 2016 white GMC Acadia, placed the vehicle’s keys and the keys to his home under the front seat while he left his vehicle parked on the street but they were now missing. In addition, the owner noticed that loose change that was in the vehicle was also missing.
The officers advised the victim that they strongly felt that the actor(s) may return to steal the vehicle. The victim did not have a spare set of keys to move the vehicle from the location.
At this point, Fairfield officers initiated surveillance of the Acadia. Police say at approximately 4:30 a.m., an officer observed the interior light of the Arcadia come on and also observed the vehicle’s brake lights come on. The Acadia then began to pull away at which time the officer activated his emergency lights. The Acadia went around the police vehicle, at which time, the officer was able to see the driver was an African American male wearing a partial ski mask.
According to authorities, other officers arrived in the area and a motor vehicle pursuit was undertaken. The pursuit eventually wound up on Little Falls Road, with the Acadia crashing and rolling over and taking down power lines. The Acadia eventually caught fire.
Officials say that due to the hazardous situation, officers were initially unable to determine whether the suspect was still inside the vehicle. After the Fairfield Fire Department extinguished the fire and PSE&G made the scene safe, it was determined that the suspect was not in the vehicle.
Police initiated a vigorous search of the area was conducted for the suspect with negative results. By approximately 6:30 a.m., the North Caldwell Police Department received a report of a stolen vehicle located in proximity to the crash site and it is strongly believed that the suspect from the pursuit was the actor in the theft of this vehicle. The Fairfield Police Department is actively investigating this case
During the morning hours of August 31st, the Fairfield Police Department has taken 15 reports of motor vehicle burglaries in the area of Henning Drive where the original incident started.
The incident remains under investigation.