Morris County News

Police: Stolen Battery Scam Short-Circuits in Roxbury

ROXBURY, NJ - Two men who scammed Walmart stores in several states - by returning for money batteries that were stolen - were caught and arrested earlier this month when they attempted the scheme in Ledgewood, police said today.

A third man purportedly involved in the practice was on the lam, but police said they know his identity and expect to find him.

The investigation began on June 16 at about 7:50 p.m. when Roxbury officers were called to the Ledgewood Walmart, police said.

Sign Up for E-News

“The caller reported seeing a Hyundai Santa Fe with Indiana plates in the parking lot, with shopping carts full of batteries,” said a statement from Roxbury police. They said Roxbury Police Sgt. Matthew Holland went to the store and saw two men, one later identified as Detrae Mcrae, loading car batteries from a shopping cart into the rear of the Hyundai, police said.

“As Sgt. Holland approached them, the unknown male immediately fled on foot across the parking lot towards Commerce Boulevard,” police reported. “Sgt. Holland was detaining Mcrae when a male, later identified as Adarius Ferguson, exited the Walmart, saw Sgt. Holland and also fled on foot.”

Police said Holland broadcast over his radio a description of both males. They said a Walmart employee then came out of the store and told the sergeant that the man who fled on foot had tried to return for a refund what were believed to be stolen car batteries.

Shorly afterward, Roxbury patrolmen Jon Edmunds and Scott Weaver, accompanied by two officers from the Mount Arlington Police Department, responded to a report of a suspicious man in the area near the Ramsey Outdoor store in Roxbury Mall, police said.

Mount Arlington Police Patrolman Joseph Parichuk told other police that he saw a man, who fit the description of Ferguson, enter the nearby Succasunna ShopRite, police said. Parichuk, Mount Arlington Police Patrolman Gregory Shallop and Roxbury Police Lt. Dan Murray then found and detained Ferguson inside the grocery story, police said.

“A quick and thorough investigation” revealed that Mcrae, Ferguson and the man who got away came to New Jersey from Michigan “to off-load stolen car batteries,” police said. “It is believed they purchased car batteries legally and then would return the stolen batteries with the receipt they just received.”

The men were found to be in possession of five stolen car batteries, police said. They said their probe revealed the trio, on the same day, returned stolen car batteries at 10 Walmart stores in Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey “and were ultimately caught at the Roxbury Walmart, which was believed to be their last stop.”

Mcrae was charged with criminal attempt to commit theft, conspiracy to commit theft and receiving stolen property, police said. They said Ferguson was charged with criminal attempt to commit theft, conspiracy to commit theft, receiving stolen property, hindering and obstruction.

Both men were taken to the Morris County jail pending a bail hearing, police said. They said the third man was not apprehended, but they said they are “aware of his identity through the investigation and future criminal charges are pending.”

Roxbury Police Chief Mark Palanchi said “the excellent working relationship between Roxbury and Mt. Arlington in conjunction with solid police work led to the quick apprehension of these individuals.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Businesses Celebrate Success at the Morris County EDC Awards Luncheon

March 19, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - Over 220 business executives gathered to celebrate the successes of the Morris County businesses that were recognized at the Morris County Economic Development's annual awards luncheon.  This year's event was held at the Wyndham/Hamilton Park Conference Center and featured a Keynote address from William DeRosa, Chief of Oncology at Summit Medical Group Cancer ...

Pine Brook Massage Parlor Shut Down After Several Failed Inspections

March 19, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – A used prophylactic in the trash, apparent “table showers,” and the implication of employees sleeping and cooking in the Swan Lake Spa massage parlor in Pine Brook resulted in the spa’s license revocation at a hearing held by the Board of Health March 12.

The spa had been in business on Route 46 since 2012 and had been subject to a revised 2012 ordinance ...

Local Boy Scouts Invite Alumni to Gathering on March 19th

March 17, 2018

Were you a Cub Scout?  Did you earn the rank of Eagle Scout? Maybe you served as a volunteer at one point? Then this is the event for you.  All former Scouts and vounteers are welcome to attend the  Black River District Alumni Gatheirng. The event is hosted by the Patriots’ Path Council Alumni Committee and being held on Monday, March 19 at 7:00 pm at the Rockaway River Barn ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 22, 5:00 PM

The Mansion at Mountain Lakes, Mountain Lakes

St. Mary's Prep Tricky Tray

Food & Drink

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Other Sports

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...