PARAMUS, NJ - Authorities nabbed at least one member of a ring they believe is responsible for a series of vehicle thefts throughout Bergen County.
In a news release Thursday afternoon, Paramus Police Chief Kenneth Ehrenberg said additonal arrests are expected in the future following further investigation but for now, Jaquil Spruill, a 26-year-old Newark man, faces charges of eluding police, poessesion of stolen property and poessesion of marijuana.
The charges stem from an incident early Tuesday morning that began with a report of gas being stolen from a station on Route 17, he said.
Just prior to 3:15 a.m., officers were called to the Exxon station on Route 17 near Century Road after receiving a report that a black Range Rover occupied by three black men fled after getting gas, Ehrenberg said.
About 45 minutes later, police received a call reporting a suspicious black Range Rover in the area of Highland Avenue and three men walking around in driveways, the chief said.
Upon arrival, Officer William Stallone spotted the car parked on Highland Avenue, with a man wearing a ski mask seated behind the wheel, the chief said. Stallone also observed two other men, both wearing ski masks, running towards the sport utility vehicle, Ehrenberg said.
Only one of the men was able to hop into the Range Rover before it sped off, leaving behind the other suspect, he said.
Stallone pursued the Range Rover, which the chief said was reported stolen out of Mountainside, but lost sight of the vehicle on Route 17 south in the area of Essex Street.
While Stallone chased after the stolen car, Paramus officers, with help from the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit, tracked down the suspect left behind after the other men fled, the chief said.
The man, later identified as Spruill, was found behind a nearby home by Sheriff’s Officer LeszecLorenc and his K-9 Harry, the chief said.
Further investigation revealed that several vehicles parked on Highland Avenue were ransacked and property was stolen, the chief said.
Authorities believe the men are members of a crew responsible for ongoing vehicle thefts around the county, targeting cars in which keys and fobs are left inside during the overnight hours.
After Spruill’s arrest Paramus detectives were able to develop information about the other suspects and additional arrests are expected.
Anyone with information is asked to call Paramus police at 201-262-3400 or use the department’s TIPS App located at www.paramuspolice.org.