EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - A theft and chase led to police activity in East Brunswick today, causing the temporary sheltering at two schools and a long pursuit of two suspects near Route 18.

Patrol was dispatched to Retro Fitness on a report of a belated theft from a motor vehicle. Retro Fitness near Shopper's World in the former Loehmann's Plaza on Route 18 supplied surveillance video which captured a suspect vehicle. The description was a red SUV with New York license plates and a chrome accent package.

This description was announced over the radio to all patrol units in the area. When Patrolman Michael Manning entered Mid-State Mall parking lot, he located a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle's description. Patrolman Manning attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop, but as he exited his patrol vehicle, the suspect vehicle started to flee, according to a report issued by the East Brunswick Police Department today.

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Moments later Patrolman John Breen located the suspect vehicle unoccupied in the parking lot of 1020 Highway 18. Officers found two suspects nearby at the intersection of Madeline Avenue and Frederick Street. Middlesex Sheriff’s Officer Rafael Morales and K-9 Celeste arrived at the parking of 1020 Highway 18. Officer Rafael Morales, K-9 Celeste, and Patrolman Manning began tracking the two suspects.

They traveled north through the parking lot of 1020 Highway 18, then through the parking lot of 1-800-Car-Cash. There, an employee gave officers credit cards that were found in the parking lot moments before the officers walked through. These credit cards were taken from the victim’s vehicle earlier. K-9 Celeste tracked the suspects more than a mile away to Madeline Avenue and Fredrick Street where the two suspects were detained.

Suspects Kerry Scott, 37, and Andrew Williams, 40, both of Brooklyn, New York were placed under arrest and charged with numerous offenses. The charges consisted of Possession of Marijuana, Burglary, Credit Card Theft, and Fraudulent Use of a Credit Card, Hindering Apprehension, Eluding, and Conspiracy. Both suspects were processed, transported,  and turned over to the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center in North Brunswick pending a bail hearing.

During the event and pursuit, a "shelter in place" was issued by the East Brunswick Police Department for Chittick Elementary and Bowne Munro Elementary School, follwed by an offical announcement from East Brunswick Superintendent Dr. Victor Valeski.  A "shelter in place" means that the buildings were closed to outsiders while the daily activity of school continued inside. This was done out an abundance of caution, but at no time were there any threats of violence or danger presented to the students, say police sources.  

According to the report, "As always the East Brunswick Police was in direct communication with the schools, and the restrictions were immediately lifted once the investigation was resolved without issue. The East Brunswick Police continues to work closely with the schools, directly with the Superintendent's Office and school security officials."