SAYREVILLE, NJ -- New Jersey State Police arrested three Newark residents suspected in an alleged multi-county theft ring linked to more than 30 stolen vehicles and two vehicle pursuits, according to authorities. 

Chris Rosado, 24, Melvin Martinez, 22 and Julian Ferreira, 22, of Newark were charged along with 26-year-old Kelsey Acosta, Collins Kusi and Lazaro Ramos. According to State Police, troopers from Troop “D” Holmdel Station began investigating a motor vehicle crash on Oct. 31, 2019 involving an overturned Honda Civic on the Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge. 

Troopers seized a stolen 9mm handgun and discovered that the vehicle was wanted by the Sayreville Borough Police Department for fleeing a motor vehicle stop just prior to the crash. A 13-month operation dubbed "Bust a Move" led detectives to discover that the crashed vehicle was stolen from Sayreville on Oct. 20, 2019 by Rosado and  Acosta, of Perth Amboy. Investigators determined that Martinez and  Ferreira both of Newark, were in the Honda at the time of the crash, fled the scene and were later picked up by Kelsey Acosta and Chris Rosado in Woodbridge.

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On Dec. 17, 2019, detectives arrested Rosado at his residence and charged him with hindering and joyriding. On Dec. 23, 2019, Acosta turned herself into detectives at Holmdel Station and was charged with hindering and possession of marijuana. Based on the information uncovered during the investigation, detectives discovered that Rosado and Acosta were allegedly operating a vehicle-theft ring that targeted Hondas and Acuras in Hudson, Middlesex and Union Counties. Detectives also identified Collins Kusi, 30, of Roselle, as a ringleader of the network and Melvin Martinez and Lazaro Ramos, 27, of Keasbey, as associates within the network.

Detectives also determined that Acosta and Rosado were using a storage facility in Linden to store and sell stolen auto parts. On Feb. 21, 2020, State Police detectives executed a search warrant and seized a Honda Civic, a stolen transmission, a stolen engine, fictitious plates, various auto parts and tools. 

Rosado, now being held at Essex County Jail, was charged with:

  • Conspiracy to commit theft, Conspiracy to lead an auto theft network, and Conspiracy to operate a facility for sale of stolen auto parts
  • Auto theft and leading an auto theft network
  • Operating a facility for the sale of stolen auto parts
  • Fencing and Receiving stolen property
  • Altering a vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Unlawful possession of a handgun
  • Possession of hollow point ammunition
  • Eluding
  • Possession of fraudulent insurance card

On Dec. 4, 2020, detectives arrested Melvin Martinez at his residence. He was charged with the following and lodged at Middlesex County Jail:

  • Conspiracy to commit theft
  • Theft
  • Eluding
  • Receiving stolen property
  • Unlawful possession of a handgun
  • Possession of hollow point ammunition
  • Altering a vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Burglary of residence
  • Theft from residence

On Dec. 22, 2020, detectives arrested Julian Ferreira at his residence. He was charged with the following and lodged at Essex County Jail:

  • Joyriding
  • Unlawful possession of a handgun
  • Possession of hollow point ammunition
  • Certain persons not to possess a firearm
  • Receiving stolen property

Detectives arrested Kelsey Acosta at her residence on Dec. 22, 2020. She was charged with the following and lodged at Middlesex County Jail:

  • Conspiracy to commit theft, Conspiracy to lead an auto theft network, and Conspiracy to operate a facility for sale of stolen auto parts
  • Auto theft and leading an auto theft network
  • Operating a facility for the sale of stolen auto parts
  • Fencing and Receiving stolen property
  • Altering a vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Production of fraudulent insurance card

Collins Kusi was charged on Dec. 22, 2020, with the following charges. He is lodged at the Middlesex County Jail.

  • Conspiracy to commit theft and • Conspiracy to lead an auto theft network
  • Theft
  • Fencing
  • Production of fraudulent insurance card

On Nov. 30, 2020, detectives arrested Lazaro Ramos at a business in Linden, N.J. He was charged with the following and lodged at Middlesex County Jail:

  • Conspiracy to commit theft
  • Theft

The case is being prosecuted by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.