SOMERVILLE, N.J. – Two Somerville residents and a third suspect from Secaucus have been arrested and charged with a string of gas station robberies in Somerville, Bridgewater and a third incident in North Plainfield on Jan. 20.
Acting Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson identified the suspects as Jaylen M. Folk, 19, and Evan Moore, 21, both of Hamilton Street in Somerville. and Sahil Ram, 19, of Secaucus.
The first incident was at 7:20 p.m. Jan. 30, according to Robertson, when two men wearing masks robbed the BP Gas Station at 1240 U.S. Highway 22 East, in Bridgewater. The attendant, Robertson said, reported to responding officers that two masked males entered and approached him in the attendant’s booth.
One suspect demanded money while the other held a knife to the attendant's neck, Robertson said. One suspect was wearing distinctive red sneakers. After taking approximately $70, one of the suspects dropped the knife in the booth and both suspects fled the area on foot.
At approximately 8:36 p.m. that same day, Robertson said, two masked males robbed an attendant at the Shell Gas Station located at 176 West End Ave. in Somerville. The suspects were wearing similar clothing, including distinctive red sneakers. During the robbery, the suspects brandished a knife and punched the attendant, Robertson said, and the suspects took a cash register drawer containing approximately $640 and 15 packs of cigarettes.
Before fleeing, Robertson said, one of the suspects dropped a 12-inch knife on the floor of the booth.
About one hour after the Somerville robbery, two masked males approached an attendant at the BP Gas Station, on Route 22 in North Plainfield. The attendant became suspicious and called North Plainfield Police. Officers responded immediately and were able to apprehend Folk as the suspects attempted to flee the area. At the time of his arrest, Folk was wearing red sneakers.
Detectives from the Somerville, Bridgewater Township and North Plainfield Police departments along with detectives from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Crime Scene Investigations and Forensics Unit responded to conduct the investigation.
Since Folk’s arrest, detectives actively pursued leads and conducted interviews which ultimately led to the identifications of Moore and Ram.
On March 18 at 11:30 a.m., Robertson said, detectives arrested Moore at the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office. Moore was charged with Robbery, 2nd Degree and Attempted Robbery, 2nd Degree. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Qasim.
On March 20, at approximately 1:45 p.m., Somerville Police Patrol Sergeant Darrin Dipalma, observed Folk in the area of Veterans Memorial Drive, Robertson said. According to Robertson, Dipalma approached Folk and took him into custody without incident.
Folk was charged with two counts of robbery and attempted robbery. Bail was set at $100,000 cash or bond by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Goodzeit.
At 9:15 a.m. Monday, with the assistance of the Secaucus Police Department, detectives arrested Ram at his residence, Robertson said. Ram was charged with two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery.
All three defendants are lodged in the Somerset County Jail.
Robertson requests anyone with information to contact the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit at 908-231-7100, or the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477) or online at www.888577tips.org or www.scpo.net and click on either “Crime Stoppers” or “TIPS HOTLINE”. All calls will be kept confidential.